Miranda: ‘Every Goan wants to play for FC Goa’

The former India international, who took over as the coach of FC Goa Reserves, says how ISL took over every footballer’s imagination in the state.

FC Goa Reserves coach Clifford Miranda at an I-League second division match against Ozone FC in Bangalore Football Stadium on Tuesday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

 

After a long and distinguished career as a footballer, Clifford Miranda recently made the transition into coaching. About a year ago, Miranda took over as the coach of the FC Goa reserves team.

“The move to coaching was unexpected, because I wanted to continue playing. Derrick Pereira (FC Goa assistant coach) and the management urged me to take up coaching. Derrick is the best Indian coach, so to work under him is huge," Miranda said at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Tuesday, where his side took on Ozone FC in an I-League 2nd division match.

Miranda, who helped Dempo SC clinch the national club title on five occasions, stated that times have changed in Goan football and traditional powerhouses like Salgaocar SC, Churchill Brothers and Dempo no longer hold sway over the masses.

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“Every single Goan wants to play for FC Goa. It is the biggest club in Goa now.”

So what happened to the other clubs? “That is something for the clubs, the state association and the All India Football Federation to address,” Miranda stated.

Towards the end of his playing career, Miranda got the opportunity to feature in the high-profile Indian Super League (ISL). The good times lasted for only two seasons, but Miranda has no regrets. “I don’t think about how life would have turned out had the ISL been launched during my prime years. What about my seniors like Bruno Coutinho and Mohammed Habib? How would their careers have turned out if they had played in the ISL? There is no answer. I had my time, and now it’s time for these youngsters to shine,” the former Indian international said.

The 35-year-old had kind words for ex-teammate and Bengaluru FC star Sunil Chhetri. “I watched his hat-trick for Bengaluru FC against FC Pune City recently. It is nice to see Sunil still performing at the highest level,” Miranda said.

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