Zico predicts a better season for the Gaurs

FC Goa train in dubai

FC Goa are scheduled to play five pre-season friendlies against Al Khaleej, Al Shabab, Ajman, Al Jazeera and Al Hatta at the clubs’ respective stadiums on 11, 15, 16, 19 and 20 September respectively. All games will kick off at 7pm local time.

As part of FC Goa’s pre-season training and conditioning, the team has assembled at the Spanish Soccer Schools (SSS) grounds in the Dubai Sports City (DSC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE),to prepare for season 2 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) under the guidance of head coach Zico.

DSC is a multi-venue sports complex wherein the Spanish Soccer Schools has a full-size indoor pitch with FIFA 2-star approved competition turf for year-round usage and two full-size outdoor pitches.

FC Goa are scheduled to play five pre-season friendlies against Al Khaleej, Al Shabab, Ajman, Al Jazeera and Al Hatta at the clubs’ respective stadiums on 11, 15, 16, 19 and 20 September respectively. All games will kick off at 7pm local time. The matches are open to fans of both teams.

Speaking of the Goan ISL franchise’s target for the coming season, Zico has predicted a better season for the Gaurs, as the team is popularly referred to, in ISL 2.

“The target is not like last year,” the buoyant head coach sais on the side-line of a training session in Dubai.“We want to get better. Last year I did not know the players, the foreigners and the technical staff. In the beginning it was difficult. This year we will be better because I got to choose the Indian players and the foreigners also.”

Goa’s marquee player Lucio also elucidated his thoughts on the team’s preparations ahead of the upcoming season. “I’m very happy to be here. It’s a new challenge to work with Zico. The training is going perfect. The climate in Goa will be like Brazil. We will be ready for the challenge,” remarked the Brazilian. “Zico called me and I’m very happy to work with him and the guys from Brazil” he added.

Local superstars Joaquim Abranches and Mandar Rao Dessai were also elated to be part of the squad’s preparations in Dubai. “It’s a great feeling for me to be a part of FC Goa. It’s good for me to play with some big players,” stated Abranches.“It was a good season last year. There was a great response from the crowd and fans believed in us. We learned a lot from players like Andre Santos and Robert Pires last season,” said Dessai. “This year also we have a lot of new faces like Lucio, Leo Moura, Reinaldo. We will learn from them too and I thank Zico for believing in me and selecting me for this season,” he added.

The squad will train in Dubai until 20 September 2015, post which the Zico-managed team will be back in Goa for the final phase of training at the Tilak Maidan ground in Vasco before the season starts.

In their first fixture in ISL 2, FC Goa will take on Delhi Dynamos FC in a home game on Sunday, 04 October 2015 at the Fatorda stadium in Margao.


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