Saviour Gama: Aim is to cement my place in the team under the new coach

Full-back Saviour Gama is looking forward to featuring more regularly for Hero Indian Super League’s (Hero ISL) inaugural shield winners FC Goa in the upcoming season following the departure of former skipper Mandar Rao Dessai. The 23-year-old defender made two appearances in his debut Hero ISL campaign and added 11 appearances to that tally in the 2019-20 season, which also saw him score a goal for the Gaurs.

“The past year has been quite eventful for me as I got more involved in the team, getting more minutes under my belt. Although they were from the bench, the experience is what matters the most. Now, my aim is to cement my place in the team under the new coach,” Saviour said in an interview with indianexpress.com.

Saviour has experienced playing in the biggest game in the Hero ISL having been a part of the Goa side that went up against Bengaluru FC in the final of the 2018-19 season. “I wasn’t ready that night at all. The thought of appearing in an ISL final made me very scared to go on to the field in Mumbai… I didn’t even get time to warm up before the substitution, so after the half-time whistle, I prepared myself for the next 45 minutes on the sidelines,” Saviour shared.

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Speaking about his preferred style of play, Saviour sees himself more as a marauding full-back rather than just a defensive option. “I love attacking with the ball at my feet more than defending. I have been making use of my time during lockdown, training hard at home and keeping in my mind our emphasis on build-up play. I kept a close eye on the UEFA Champions League matches too, learning from the foreign players,” Saviour said.

Adding to his excitement for the upcoming season is the prospect of playing in the AFC Champions League, and Saviour is hoping he can make the most of the opportunities he gets in the continental competition. “The toughness brings the best out of you, so I am excited to play in the AFC Champions League and make FC Goa fans and the entire country proud. Maybe, if I keep on playing well, the first national team call-up will also be on the horizon,” he said.

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