FC Goa announces Brandon Fernandes as captain for ISL 2022-23

Brandon Fernandes, one of FC Goa’s longest serving players will don the captain’s armband heading into the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season.

The Indian international will head a 4-man captaincy group that comprises of Seriton Fernandes, Glan Martins and Marc Valiente, said a statement from FC Goa.

Brandon Fernandes was roped in by the Gaurs in the ISL players’ draft ahead of the 2017-18 season at the age of 23. The attacking midfielder has since gone from strength to strength with the club, making 85 appearances for them across all competitions in the past five seasons.

In the ISL alone, the Goa native has featured in 69 matches for FC Goa. The Indian international currently leads the league in assists accounted by an Indian with 19 in addition to his five strikes.

The 27-year-old helped FC Goa to their first silverware in the Super Cup in 2019. He followed that up with significant contributions enroute to helping FC Goa to the ISL League Winners’ Shield in 2019-20 and the Durand Cup in 2021. Brandon Fernandes was also an integral part of their side that became the first-ever team to represent India in the AFC Champions League last year, finishing the campaign with two assists.

Earlier last season, FC Goa had included him in their leadership group for the first time. Speaking on his appointment as the FC Goa captain, Brandon said: “It’s an honour to lead my home club in the ISL. Additionally, it’s also a privilege that I have the trust of my teammates. I enjoyed the responsibilities I had as part of the captaincy group last season. And now, I’m looking forward to the challenges as we head into the new season.”

“We have a great bunch of players who are all working towards the same goal – which is to bring success to the club. I’m excited to lead them, and eager to explore what we can do together on the pitch this coming season,” he added.

The Gaffer weighs in

Carlos Pena, the head coach of FC Goa also congratulated the 27-year-old on his appointment as captain.

“I’m very happy for Brandon because he has the credit of his teammates, people working in the club and all the fans. He’s a good example of loyalty and commitment and is a wonderful individual both on and off the pitch. With his experience and skill-set, all the players in the squad can look to learn from him and develop as a team,” he said.

The former defender also opened up on how Seriton, Glan and Marc will also share the leadership responsibilities.

“Each of them have the ability to lead the team, which is why they have also been selected to the leadership group. I wanted a few captains and not just one, because it facilitates the sharing of opinions and encourages collective thinking,” Pena explained.

The support

Like Brandon, Seriton was also a part of the captaincy group at the club last season. He further holds the distinction of being the most-capped footballer for the Men in Orange, with 108 appearances across all competitions.

Since joining the Gaurs in 2021, Glan has been one of their vital cogs in the midfield. The 28-year-old’s performances were key as Goa made it to the ISL 2020-21 playoffs, before impressing in the AFC Champions League 2021.

FC Goa will look to lean upon the leadership qualities of Marc Valiente as well, with the Spaniard having led the defence of top Spanish sides like Sevilla and Real Valladolid previously. The 35-year-old was once also the captain of the Barcelona B side that featured the likes of Carlos Pena.

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