A few years back, Prachit Gaonkar showed a lot of promise when he wore the FC Goa jersey during the All India Football Federation (AIFF) age-group matches and that the promise is turning into a reality was evident when he strode in to play against Sporting Clube de Goa in the Goa Football Association (GFA) Goa Professional League (GPL) match a few days back.
Prachit came in as a substitute during the second session of play and the few touches displayed by him showed signs of maturity, intelligence and most importantly the ability to grow beyond under the watchful eyes of FC Goa Technical Director Derrick Pereira.
If anything, the growth of Prachit and his colleagues Bryson Pereira, Saish Gaunkar, Leewan Castanha and Mevan Dias was the only sparkle during the second round of the Goa Professional League that has had no entertainment quotient.
Nine goals in seven matches and most lacking class is definitely not value for money. With three clubs – Vasco Sports Club, Geno Sports Club and Young Boys of Tonca (YBT) - opting to play a majority of players brought from outside Goa, the picture dulls more.
The players brought from outside the state lack calibre. The youngsters playing alongside them will have no opportunity to improve but could actually get worse because most players seem to be on a cheaply paid vacation in Goa.
Dempo SC drew against YBT in a match they should have won and the onus should lie flatly on coach Remus Gomes for not being able to get the best from a set of boys that have been part of an academy set up and that too against a team like YBT, who despite having players with sturdy physical looks, playing directionless.
Sporting Clube de Goa notched up their game a bit but it was definitely not enough to make the late Peter Vaz puff his e-cigarette with pride. Vidipt Dua has been played now and again and on all occasions has cast aspersions on coach Armando Colaco’s choice of players.
FC Goa had to wait till the end to score because they tended to attack from their right, little realising that Sporting Clube de Gopa’s defender Myron Fernandes was in no mood to allow anyone to get past him.
Calangute Association has shown some thrust, most of which seems to be coming from Pratesh Shirodkar, who as captain is dependable but must be able to shift the onus on the rest of his colleagues as they need more mentoring from him. The worst way to do this is by losing his cool.
Cortalim Villagers are a bunch of youngsters who play in spasms and yet need time to find their feet at this level where spectator expectations are high. Captain Clive Miranda holds the defence together but for many, attack is the best form of defence.
Pax of Nagoa has a mix of old and new with the senior players trying to move the youngsters in tandem around the field in a bid to get goals and three points. Velito Cruz, Nickson Castanha and Joseph Clement have shown that they still have the sauce in them to justify the club's thirty lakh spending to get promoted.
The number of low-wage outstation players in this year’s edition of Goa Professional League is still the point of discussion at the Duler stadium near Mapusa as the football fare, at the end of the second round, still bordered on mediocrity where grams and gossip is the best option.