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The Gaurs arrive: (L) FC Goa’s French defender Gregory Arnolin all smiles on his arrival at the airport; Fans accorded a warm welcome to FC Goa players at Dabolim airport on late Tuesday evening as they returned from their two-week’s pre-season tour of Dubai

FC Goa set to sound bugle for ISL 2 today

The team launch is scheduled to be held at 3 pm in the presence of club co-owners Shrinivas Dempo, Dattaraj Salgaocar and club’s other eminent personalities

NT NETWORK

 

PANAJI

FC Goa, the Goan franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL) and the semifinalists in its last edition, will on Thursday officially unveil their team for the second edition of country’s top-tier league at Tilak Maidan, Vasco.

The team launch is scheduled to be held at 3 pm in the presence of club co-owners Shrinivas Dempo, Dattaraj Salgaocar and club’s other eminent personalities.

FC Goa players, who arrived at Dabolim airport on late Tuesday evening after finishing their two week’s pre-season tour of Dubai, were accorded a warm reception by their hundreds of fans as they welcomed them amidst flashlights and ‘Forca Goa’ chants.

On their Dubai tour, Zico’s men played a total of four football friendlies against Arabian giants and on the whole the Gaurs gave a good account of themselves by registering one win, two draws and one loss thus impressing the FC Goa camp to a great extent.

“FC Goa played quality football and we are quite happy with the results, except for the last match. The players have also gained a good experience,” said an FC Goa official.

Brazilian legend Zico, who was instrumental in recommending the pre-season tour for the team so that his boys could achieve high match performance levels, had high praise for the facilities available at Dubai Sports City. “Dubai Sports City is outstanding, the perfect place for us as a team to train,” Zico had said.

The Brazilian legend also found the conditions in Dubai and Goa similar and was happy that it had further simplified their work. “The players were in really good condition and the weather in Dubai was similar to Goa, so it worked really well for us. We have many new players with us this season so to get away as a team and bond before the season starts is really important,” the veteran gaffer had said.

Apart from Zico, the players too enjoyed the pre-season tour as they performed exceptionally well without giving much heed to the scorching Dubai heat. Zico’s Brazilian recruit Leonardo da Silva Moura was extremely happy to have played in Dubai and was of the view that these games in Dubai would help condition them for the start of the season. “For me, it has been wonderful. It will help me get better for the ISL,” Moura had said.

Marquee player Lucio, Lucas Moura, Jofre and Reinaldo had been the backbone of Zico’s plan in Dubai and all had an impressive pre-season with the pair of Jofre and Reinaldo sharing four goals among them in their team’s campaign against some of the strong Dubai sides.

Having got the players of his choice this time around and with most of them being Brazilians, FC Goa chief coach Zico must have now set his sights on the prestigious ISL crown, while as the kick off time is getting closer, with only 10 days left, the football crazy Goans cannot wait anymore to watch the samba grove on the stadiums.

 

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