Goa, January 2020.
This past summer FC Goa put faith in the promise whose name is Saviour Gama. The young left-back starred in the Developmental Team to begin with - helping the Gaurs lift the Goa Pro League in the 2018/19 season before setting afoot in the Indian Super League.
However, his time in the ISL remained short and sporadic to begin with. With more experienced options on the roster, it wasn’t a big surprise either. The promise though was undoubted. That came to the fore more than ever during the 2019 Super Cup, where he was omnipresent during the Gaurs’ triumphant campaign.
After years of waiting for his chance, this season, with the shackles of playing second fiddle gone, the youngster is in full bloom.
The 23-year-old has established himself firmly as the first choice in his position and leads the Gaurs in tackles and interceptions. His sense of adventure also sees him pop up time and again in the opposition half - giving the FC Goa attack a real bite.
“I have been very impressed with Saviour. He is really hardworking and understands the concepts of timing runs and attacking spaces in attack,” said Ferrando.
“He is young and has a great future ahead of him. He is good and yet I feel, he has it in him to improve even further. I am excited to see as to what his ceiling is.”
Grooming the instincts
The youngster’s tenaciousness at the back is as influential to the Juan Ferrando blueprint as his intent to get forward. His record of 2 assists is, in fact, the highest for a defender in the ISL this season at the time of writing.
“Getting forward and attacking is something I enjoy. It comes naturally to me and playing in a club that shares the same philosophy as my natural style, I believe has helped me get better,” says Gama of his journey so far with FC Goa.
“From the onset, there was never any intention or hint from any of the coaches or players to curb my instincts. I think that has helped me become better than what I was a few seasons ago.
“There is still a long way to go, though. I want to be the best at my position and for that, I have to put in more work - both in terms of being more technical and understanding the tactical aspects better.”
Skipper Edu Bedia has seen the left-back from close quarters. Having joined the first team from the Developmental team during the 2018/19 season, Gama’s strides forward have really left a real mark on the midfield general.
“His game is clearly getting better, his confidence is increasing with each passing day. He is playing better now than ever,” remarked the former Barcelona man.
“He is very young and improvements come with experience, he has a great future ahead. He came into the team a few years earlier and to improve such drastically, is truly impressive.
“As I said, he is very young but has a lot of personality in regards to how he plays. He gives us a lot in attack. For our style of football, he is very important.”