RoundGlass Residential Football Academy tap Goan talent
Goa Football Development Council’s (GFDC) Rowan Gaunkar and Deva Verma are carrying big ambitions and are ready for the next challenge. The Chairman of GFDC, Dr. Rufino Monteiro, unveiled both the players to RoundGlass Residential Football Academy at SAG Conference Hall, Taleigao on Wednesday.
The duo have been selected on a three-year contract for a full-time training program at the Punjab based academy. They will get the opportunity to be part of a set-up led by internationally certified coaches. RoundGlass Sports, a company dedicated in serving young Indian footballers and hockey players who aspire to develop their abilities, facilitated this opportunity for the two budding players. The training, education, fitness, food and accommodation of these boys will be looked after by the academy.
RoundGlass Academy ensures they deliver world class facilities for the trainees and have being doing the same for the last two years. There are two kinds of training provided by the academy, paid and scholarship. The kids from the rural area are given a scholarship while others from the urban area pay fees. They have also been granted accreditation from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to participate in the U-13, U-15 and U-18 I-League.
The Chairman of GFDC, Dr. Rufino Monteiro, can only be delighted to see the growth of his players and said, “Goa has a tradition of providing very fine goalkeepers. AfterBrahmanand we have not seen any good keepers in Goa of his caliber. The aim of GFDC is to try and get good goalkeepers. We were happy that two of our boys have been selected after RoundGlass conducted scouting here. Coming right after our GFDC academy trainee, Felixson Fernandes being selected for the Reliance Youth Academy and two other trainees undergoing trials at the same academy. This shows that our grassroots program is on the right track,” he said.
While GFDC Member Secretary, Alexio Da Costa praised his council members, coaches and other staff for this achievement. “This is good news for us and the state that our boys are getting selected in the top football academies in the country. With a vision for football our Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar started GFDC to develop football in the state. The parents should motivate and encourage their children as it will not be an easy task for the boys to move away from their families. This is the bes
t opportunity and I request the boys to make the maximum of it,” said Alexio.
The Head Coach and Technical Director of RoundGlass Residential Football Academy, Devan Daniel is a UEFA ‘B’ level certified coach. He has had two successful stints with Florentina (Italy) and Pune City
(Indian Super League) as an assistant coach in the first season. He welcomed the two Goan boys aboard by handing over to them the official jerseys. “Youth development is the most important for the growth of Indian football. This will be our first season in the I-League. We do not want to take boys from other club but pick talented ones and develop them,” stated Devan.
Coming back to the players both the Cuncolim-based goalkeepers, schooling at Our Lady of Health High School, are regular trainees of the GFDC Cuncolim centre and the hard work of coach, Raimando D’Souza has finally yielded results.
Deva is overwhelmed on his selection to join the Punjab-based academy after starting to play football at the age of six. He joined GFDC in the year 2012 and dedicates himself to two hours of training daily.
“I am very happy that I have been selected and I am looking forward to be part of RoundGlass Academy. This is the best feeling ever as it will be an opportunity to pursue my passion. I was always passionate to become a goalkeeper. My favourite goalkeeper is Iker Casillas from Spain, who inspires me to become like him every time I watch him play,” said the 13-year-old Deva, who helped his centre win the U-13 final in the Bocca Juniors tournament this year where he was adjudged Best goalkeeper.
“My coach Raimando is very supportive and in the past few years I have learnt to become more disciplined. He corrects me when I am wrong and motivates me to stay focused when I am surrounded by challenges,” said Deva.
For 14-year-old, Rowan, football runs in the family. His elder brother, Runal is a goalkeeper too and plays for Sesa Academy. “I am happy to move to Punjab. I love football and it makes me happy. I have to work hard and improve on my reflexes. From a young age I would like to collect the ball with my hands rather than play with my feet,” said Rowan.
Technical In-charge of GFDC, Derryl D’Souza congratulated the lads and wished them good luck. “Both the boys have a lot to offer in their respective departments. They are agile with good reflexes, techniques, pace and communication. At the same time, they are hardworking on the field and consistent,” said Derryl.
The GFDC Council members present at the function were Dr. Shrikant Ajgaonkar, Brahmanand Shankwalkar, Pradip Chodankar and Victor Fernandes.