The 29-year-old joined the Gaurs in 2017 and will continue till at least 2024.

Seriton Fernandes has always been at home with FC Goa and that is not bound to change anytime soon. The Gaurs’ longest-serving player just signed a multi-year contract extension that will see him wear their iconic Orange till the summer of 2024, which would be his seventh season at the club.

Since Fernandes signed with Goa in 2017, the club has played a total of 116 matches, out of which the full-back has missed just eight. No one has featured in as many games across the past five seasons – a testament to his quality and consistency.

“In the ISL’s early years, I used to watch FC Goa and dream of playing for them someday. In 2017, that dream became a reality for the first time and I told myself that I must do everything that it takes to hold on to it,” the 29-year-old said.

“Hence, whenever I stepped onto the pitch wearing the club’s crest on my chest, I made sure that I gave it my all. I wanted to help the club in every way possible so that I was deemed worthy of staying on for a long time.

“Looking back, I’m happy with how it turned out but I also understand that there’s a lot left to do. I’m not stopping for anyone.”

Derick Pereira’s thoughts on the player

This particular trait of Fernandes, his desire to work harder than anyone else, impressed FC Goa’s Technical Director Derrick Pereira even before he was theirs. Pereira, in fact, revealed that it played a big role in his selection at the ISL Players’ Draft ahead of the 2017-18 season.

“I had worked with Seriton (Fernandes) previously at Churchill Brothers. His willingness to learn and work hard made a good impression on me quite early. Back in 2017, during the draft, we were looking for someone who could slot in both the left and right sides of the defence and I thought he would be a good pick.

“Later, he proved it himself as he readily agreed to play wherever we wanted to play him. We tried him at left-back and right midfield before he made the right-back position his own,” Pereira revealed.

The 60-year-old further added that only Seriton Fernandes himself can be given credit for how he went on to become a mainstay at the club.

“The way he has worked, he deserved to stay. I’m happy that the club thinks so too. Whenever he has done well, FC Goa have also done well,” added Pereria.

Pereira and Seritan want to win ISL

The numbers don’t lie either. In the 2018-19 season, Fernandes missed just 21 minutes of action as the Gaurs finished runners-up in the ISL. A month later, they also lifted their maiden Super Cup, with the defender scoring an important goal against Jamshedpur FC in the quarter-final. The following year, he made an appearance in all but one of Goa’s games as they raced to their maiden ISL League Shield triumph.

The one trophy that has eluded the Gaurs so far, is the ISL Trophy. Seriton Fernandes is also aware of it, as evidenced by his words. “That is one thing that every football fan in Goa wishes us to have. We badly want it ourselves, but our performances last season did not reflect it well,” he admitted, as he spoke about the club’s ninth-placed finish in ISL 2021-22.

“And now, all we want to do is to put that behind us and start a fresh chapter. I want to give the Goans what they want, and I intend to work harder than ever before to get that done.”

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