~ The defender is the 7th player in the last 3 years to earn a promotion from the Developmental Team ~
June 15, 2020: FC Goa is delighted to announce that Leander D’Cunha has signed a new contract with the Club, earning a promotion up to the first team after making his way up the ranks at youth level. In doing so, he becomes the 7th player to be promoted from the Developmental Team and into the first team in the last three years.
The right-back has signed a first team contract with the club till 2023, and will join the squad for the pre-season when preparation begins for the new campaign.
“This is a great feeling,” exclaimed Leander after signing on the dotted lines.
“When I was told that I would be making it to the senior team, it felt like a dream come true.
“I have been working hard in the Developmental Team for the past three years and I’m really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead for me.”
FC Goa Director of Football, Ravi Puskur was equally pleased at the development. Speaking on Leander’s new contract, he stated, “Leander was spotted when he was playing for the Goa Santosh Trophy team back in 2017 and he’s been on our books ever since.
“During this time, Leander’s shown an incredible amount of desire for self-improvement and has never shied away from doing the hard yards. He’s proven himself to be a versatile, selfless player who we’re sure will be an asset to the First Team. We’re delighted that he’s decided to extend his contract with us and will form a part of our long term plans.”
The 22-year-old emerged as one of the most important players for the FC Goa Developmental Team over the past few seasons, eventually taking over the captaincy of the side last season.
The Cuncolim native started his footballing career at the SESA Football Academy and joined Churchill Brothers before being signed by FC Goa three years ago.
Working his way up the ranks, the 22-year-old has proven instrumental in the Developmental Team, lifting the Goa Professional League in 2018/19 before leading the side to triumph in the Police Cup trophy at the beginning of the 2019/20 Season.
Leander follows in the footsteps of players like Mohammad Nawaz, Saviour Gama, Princeton Rebello, Liston Colaco, Kingslee Fernandes and Shubham Dhas - all of whom earned promotions to the first team through the FC Goa youth structure.
About FC Goa
FC Goa is a professional football club based out of Goa that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL) and is the current holder of the Super Cup. Nicknamed the Gaurs, FC Goa has been one of the most consistent teams in the ISL - reaching 3 semi-finals and 2 finals in 6 seasons.
In Season 2019/20, the club won the Hero ISL League Winners Shield, by finishing top of the table in the league stages and became the first ever club from India to qualify for the group stages of the AFC Champions League. The Gaurs are also the only ISL side to win more than 50 games and score more than 200 goals.
Co-owned by Mr Jaydev Mody, Mr Akshay Tandon and Mr Virat Kohli, FC Goa is one of few Indian Clubs to have a complete youth development ecosystem. It’s U14, U16, U18 and Developmental Teams compete at the highest levels in Goa and nationally. The system has produced recognizable talents like Saviour Gama, Princeton Rebello and many more. The Gaurs are also the current Champions of the Goa Professional League, GFA U20 & GFA U18 Leagues.
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