Brandon Fernandes–“The Next Big Thing”

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A Press Release

According to his Indian U19 Head Coach, Colm Joseph Toal, ASD's Brandon Fernandes should be the "next big Indian star".

The 18 year old creative midfielder was recently exalted by Toal, who is Head of Youth Development in India. He stated: "I have seen Brandon from close. This guy is potentially the next big thing in Indian football. His service is excellent and as a Coach you can depend on him".

Hailing from Goa, Fernandes signed for ASD Cape Town in 2010 at the age of 16. He had already represented India at U13, U16, U17 and U19 level, and was brought to ASD's attention when he represented India in a 'World Skills Final' organised by Manchester United. Fernandes was selected in the best 20 and invited to attend a summer residential course at the Manchester United Soccer School.

His story is one of continued hard work and aspirations, as Fernandes began his career at the tender age of six at the Fransa FC Academy in Goa. Due to the disbanding of Fransa soon after, Fernandes moved to the Velsao Pale Sports Club, where the coaching staff were so impressed by his 'quality and competence', he was deemed ready to compete at U14 level at the age of eight. It was here that he attracted the attention of the national team and was given his first call up to the India U13's.

Soccer website www.thehardtackle.com said it was with the U13's that India first saw how 'brilliantly' the young Fernandes could play, and noted that even at such an early stage in his career he 'captured the imagination of football lovers across India'.

Fernandes went on to join Salgaocar Sports Club, and it is here that he continued with his development before becoming the first Indian player to sign for ASD's South African based Academy during the World Cup held there in 2010.

At ASD Fernandes has gone from strength to strength, most notably scoring a wonder goal against the Orlando Pirates in the Metropolitan Tournament, where South African fans started chanting his nickname, 'India' from the stands. His brand of footballing magic is unique, and ASD Director Mike Steptoe believes he is as good as his hype, if not better, stating: "Brandon has deservedly been on the radar of several English clubs for a while now, and it's fair to predict that a move is imminent. He has the potential to more than fulfil the expectation that precedes him, and in doing so will be an excellent ambassador for Goa and the Indian sub-continent".

When asked about his roots, Fernandes is very clear, saying: "I am so proud to represent India, wherever I am. I know that great opportunities lay ahead and I will be sure to lift up my country's name and raise the flag up high!"

Indeed, Fernandes is arguably India's most exciting footballing prospect. As Journalist Debapriya Deb wrote late last year: "Brandon Fernandes bestows a ray of hope, that he has it in him to lead Indian football to a greater level".

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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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