Football player Fernandes keen to take Pune City to new heights


Midfielder Francis Fernandes, unveiled as an FC Pune City player for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL), is desperate to win the one significant honour in Indian football he is yet to pick up.”I can’t say if I will return to the national team soon or not, but I will work hard for my new club,” says Fernandes, who has 29 caps for the Indian team but none in 2016. “The ISL is one trophy that is missing from my collection, so we must win it anyhow this season.”Fernandes has made a name for himself in the ISL as a hardworking midfielder for Delhi Dynamos, with whom he spent the first two seasons. He believes the ISL has offered Indian footballers an insight into the possibilities that can come with playing alongside some big names.”The ISL is a different setup from the I-League; it is organised much better. As players, we have access to the best hotels, facilities, and the league is much better marketed.”Fernandes, who also donned the jerseys of I-League clubs Vasco, Salgaocar and Dempo, is hoping that Goan clubs Sporting Clube de Goa, Salgaocar and Dempo do not hold good on their threat to withdraw from the I-League.”What’s happening with the I-League is really unfortunate. There are lesser clubs now and more players. I wish well-supported clubs like Sporting Clube de Goa, Dempo and Salgaocar wouldn’t withdraw, as that will be very bad for the system.”Fernandes is also looking forward to associating with new Pune City coach Antonio Lopez Habas, who inspired his previous club Atletico de Kolkata to the first ISL crown in 2014 and also took them to the semi-finals last year.”Habas is a very good coach, from what I have seen in the past two seasons. He now has the experience of having been in India for the past two seasons, so he probably understands Indian football much better.”

144 total views, 1 views today