Francis Fernandes: 'Want to reach the finals with FC Pune City'

Francis Fernandes is one of the better known names in Indian football and has represented the likes of Vasco, Salgaocar and Dempo in a career spanning over a decade.

Francis Fernandes during his time with Delhi Dynamos.   -  Sandeep Saxena

FC Pune City recently announced the signing of 30-year-old Francis Fernandes from Delhi Dynamos. The winger is one of the better known names in Indian football and has represented the likes of Vasco, Salgaocar and Dempo in a career spanning over a decade.

He has won a lot of trophies including the I-league and the Federation Cup. "’My most memorable moment has to be when I won the I-league and Federation Cup, and I also fondly remember my first goal for India (against Palestine)," Francis recounts.

The Goan is also worried with football related happenings in his state. Salgaocar and Sporting Clube De Goa have threatened to pull out of the I-league over the issue of its merger with the ISL. "’It is not confirmed yet, but if this happens the impact will be very bad on Goan football. There are a lot of young players but they aren’t enough clubs," feels Francis.

Goa has won the Santosh Trophy five times but its last trophy came in 2008. "The decision to not allow I-league players and the national team players has made a difference. We have a very inexperienced team," says Francis.

Talking about playing under different coaches, the likes of Stephen Constantine and Roberto Carlos, he says "Each coach brings his own perspective, we as players have to adjust accordingly. Roberto Carlos told us to play freely and without any tension. Most of his training used to focus on the ball and had less of running."

“But I am still learning, football is about learning only," the winger says.

He has his goals clear with FC Pune City. "I am excited to work under Antonio Habas. I will give my best whenever he requires. I want to reach the finals with this team’’ he says emphatically before signing off.

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