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FC Goa is a bigger team than Hyderabad: Manolo Marquez

Published at :September 13, 2023 at 12:13 AM
Modified at :September 13, 2023 at 12:17 AM
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Sonal Fernandes

FC Goa boss Manolo marquez highlighted the objectives of the season.

In a recent press conference arranged by the Indian Super League in Bengaluru, FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez, alongside players like Udanta Singh, Noah Sadaoui and Muhammed Nemil, shared insights into their experiences in Indian football and the upcoming season.

FC Goa will kickstart their campaign on 22 September in an away game against Hyderabad FC, which is also the former home of Manolo!

Here are some key takeaways from the conference:

ISL's Impact on Football Fan Culture

When asked about the ISL's role in enhancing fan culture, Manolo Marquez compared his experiences in Hyderabad and FC Goa. He acknowledged that while Hyderabad still had room to grow in football, FC Goa boasted a passionate fan base and a strong football culture.

“I think that a person like me, from a country where football is like a religion, I think it's a very nice challenge and a very nice idea to sign in a club like FC Goa. I am very happy confident that the season will be very good,” he highlighted the challenge and appeal of working in a football-crazy environment like FC Goa.

Pressure and Expectations

The mentor also discussed the transition from Hyderabad FC to FC Goa, a team with higher expectations. “FC Goa is a bigger team than Hyderabad. For me, pressure is another thing. I think that we enjoy this profession,” he emphasized the unpredictability of the season and how pressure was part and parcel of the coaching profession. However, he expressed optimism about the new season.

Integration of Players

The head coach addressed the integration of players like Udanta Singh into the team, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and a cohesive group dynamic for a successful season. Manolo Marquez said, “I can tell you about a lot of teams where the players don't like the coach. But if they are all together, finally the strength of one team is the group.”

Seasonal Targets

Manolo Marquez reiterated the team's goal to win the ISL championship but emphasized the importance of arriving in the best possible condition for the season's start. “We know that we want to be champions. I think it is the same answer every season. It is to arrive in the best conditions as possible for the first game," he asserted.

Indian Players' Quality

The mentor discussed the increasing quality of Indian players in the ISL, highlighting their dedication and the competition's impact on their improvement. “I arrived in ISL 7 and now they are 100 or 1000 times better than before. There are a lot of good players,” said Marquez.

“Guys like Udanta, Sandesh, Raynier, these are all the guys I have played against. I always thought they were good players. I am very happy that they are in our team,” FC Goa forward Noah Sadaoui added.

Impact on coaching style due to different footballing cultures

In response to a question about the difference in football culture between Hyderabad and Goa, Coach Manolo emphasized that the core principles of coaching remain the same regardless of the fan base. He acknowledged the passionate football culture in Goa, with more fans, but also highlighted the commitment and style of football enthusiasts in Hyderabad.

“The approach to different teams is not different, it is the same. Always you depend on the qualities of the players that you are coaching,” reiterated Marquez.

Development through RF Youth Champs

A question was raised about the development of young players in India through the RFYC setup. Youngster Muhammed Nemil acknowledged the significant role played by RFYC in their professional lives, not only in football but also in academics.

“They have helped me in all the ways. Not only in football, but also in academics. I believe that it is one of the best academies in India.”

Impact of Infrastructural Development

The discussion concluded with the players highlighting the positive influence of improved training facilities and infrastructure on Indian football's growth.

“I have heard that there was no infrastructure for a footballer. That is the biggest reason why Indian football was not great. Now there are so many more things that have come up. I think that will help everyone to improve and become a professional player,” Nemil said in this regard.