Brandon Fernandes got married two months back and his appointment as captain of FC Goa could not have been a better wedding gift. “Marriage has made difference to my personal life, but it has not affected my focus on football,” said Brandon.
Love is an emotion that provides essence to life and football has been a love that has given Brandon professional direction for long. Brandon travelled near and far in his attempt to polish his football skills and in the bargain dealt with coaches - some mediocre others excellent - and it has landed him as the second player from Goa to lead FC Goa – Mandar Rao Desai was the first.
A good captain is one who leads through example and Brandon has shown leadership skills in the past despite not wearing the mantle of captain. “Captaincy is just another responsibility, one that will make me focus on getting all the boys on the same page for winning titles. Enjoying the game is one thing, seeing fans enjoy the team win is another,” thinks Brandon.
Brandon was picked up for a song by FC Goa during the players' draft before the 2017 -2018 season by Derrick Pereira and has since – despite injuries – expressed his love for the game.
Brandon, who is set to turn 28 in a few days time, has proven to be a player who can be counted for his team when goals are hard to come.
Brandon was the first player from Goa to go for trials in Europe – though he did so despite nursing an injury- and was also the first to have signed for a club in South Africa. He believes Europe is his football destination and therefore thinks the role of captaincy was given to him at the right time.
Brandon plays different roles when asked by different coaches but breaking defences with splitting passes and leaving goalkeepers bewildered with his free kicks have come to be his specialities when with his team or representing his country.
His career started taking shape with Derrick, then he passed through Sergio Lobera, Juan Ferrando, Igor Stimac and now his former teammate Carlos Pena.
Each coach brings in his own style of play and players respond differently and Brandon is a player who has been able to respond satisfactorily explaining why he manages to get ample time on the field.
As a midfielder, Brandon has shown the ability to cut through defences through the wings and the centre. He is comfortable in both and the side of the flank hardly makes a difference to him despite his right leg being his favourite for shots.
As captain of FC Goa, Brandon will need to get all on board. It didn’t happen well with Mandar but the two are different. Mandar is a player who tried to show himself comfortable in places he wasn’t whilst Brandon is the type to make the position he is most comfortable with clear and it is this difference that could help him add a feather to his new cap as captain.