Milagres Gonsalves determined to prove a point

Banished to the sidelines for major part of last season while playing for Mumbai FC in the I-league, the 29-year-old Gonsalves is slowly making a comeback of sorts into mainstream football.

Milagres Gonsalves, who was part of the Kerala Blasters team for the inaugural edition of ISL, said that his stint in ISL was a great experience and he learnt a lot by observing foreign players.   -  Special Arrangement

Ace Goan striker Milagres Gonsalves is out on a mission to resurrect his stuttering career and prove a point to his detractors.

Banished to the sidelines for major part of last season while playing for Mumbai FC in the I-league, the 29-year-old is slowly making a comeback of sorts into mainstream football.

The striker accepted an offer from second division side Dempo Goa to play for them this season. The thrill of being the lynchpin of the attack and a guaranteed place in starting XI were the reasons that prompted Milagres to move to Dempo Goa. “I was frustrated spending a long time on the bench in Mumbai. When the offer came from Dempo I didn’t have to think twice as I was sure that I would get more playing time on the field.”

Now in Nagpur for the Santosh Trophy, the striker has already made his feet do the talking with a fine performance in the opening tie against West Bengal. The striker lifted the whole team with his energy and ingenuity and scored the > opening goal as Goa crushed Bengal. “It was an important win for us. Bengal is a good side. Personally for me this is an important tournament. To win the Santosh Trophy has always been my dream. I think we have a good team this year and we have potential to win the trophy and end our title drought in the national championships,” said the striker.

Milagres, who was part of the Kerala Blasters team for the inaugural edition of ISL, says that his stint in ISL was a great experience and he learnt a lot by observing foreign players. “ISL was a great learning curve for me personally. Kerala Balsters was a good unit then. There was tremendous team spirit and bonding between the players. We were like one big family. The crowd support was unbelievable. I still cannot forget the goal I scored against FC Goa in Goa. It gave me great satisfaction. It was sad that the team didn’t do well in the second year though I don’t know the reason behind it as I was not part of the team,” said Milagres.

Milagres is looking forward to the second division I-league which will begin soon after the Santosh Trophy. “Dempo is a good side with great tradition. We will definitely qualify for I league and will come out stronger next season,” he says.