The I-League is just around the corner, and each team is busy giving its final touch to the preparation just before the footballing carnival in India kick starts. Not much behind is Dempo SC, a reputed power house in the Indian football circuit.
Dempo might have undergone a radical change over the past couple of months, with a new coach, Arthur Papas, coming in after almost 12 years, but one guy who seems to have benefited from this change is the 20-year-old forward from the town of Mapusa, Myron Fernandes.
“It is a dream come true!”, says an excited Myron who, like any other football lover in this country, is waiting for the season to begin. Having proved his talent for the reserve side for the past couple of seasons, it never came as a surprise when Arthur handed the talented but shy forward his first senior team contract just before the dawn of the new season.
“This senior contract is more like motivation to me, and I will try to give it my best shot if given an opportunity,” promises Myron who has set a national team berth as one of his short term goals.
How significant is it for a 20-year-old to commit your future to a club like Dempo?
“It is indeed a very big step in my career. Since the time I started playing the game, at the age of 12, I was confident of making football my profession, and with the support and wisdom of my parents and uncles (Sebastian and Bonny D’costa) here I am today,” says a determined Myron.
He believes that anyone with determination and proper guidance can achieve his dream, and he stands himself as a living example of his thought.
Hailing from Mapusa, which is considered to be a stronghold for Dempo, Myron is surely the new prospect for fans to believe in. The village too seems to have accepted their new son with open arms.
“My neighbours, specially my friends have encouraged me to perform better. Their feedback has only given me an opportunity to work on my skills, which has helped in bringing the best out of me,” says the new adored son of Mapusa.
Call him a (Clifford) Miranda fan or a (Cristiano) Ronaldo fan, on the field Myron is more like a player eager to get his name on the score sheet.
“I am basically an attack minded player, but if needed I can adapt to the team’s need. I play as a striker as well as on the right wing”, says the player who has impressed one and all in the Goa Pro League with his speed, agility and ability to score goals in crunch situations.
Myron as been part of the Dempo philosophy for a very long time and was also fortunate to travel to the Danish club FC Midtjylland as part of Dempo’s collaboration with its European partners. Myron, along with Aniston Fernandes, another future prospect from the academy, were the two emerging stars handed picked by the academy coach Mathew D’ Costa for a three month programme in Demark.
Myron, a keen listener, still recalls his time with the reserve side and the lessons learned from Mathew.
“Mathew sir has always been very helpful to me. He is very frank and his no nonsense attitude on the field has helped me learn a lot from him. I still carry the values which he has imparted in my game,” he says.
Though it has not been long that he began his training under the new gaffer Papas, the young sensation on the field believes that Papas, with his playing ideology, can achieve great things with the club.
“Papas is a very focused coach. He knows what he expects the team and also knows that his boys can deliver. His encouraging words and his method of training are amazing and fun filled,” he claims.
How excited are you about what both you and the club can achieve under the new coach?
“It is a big opportunity for me and the club as a whole to have Papas as a new coach. His knowledge about the game is beyond comparison and I believe that playing under his guidance will help me a lot and I can grow as a better player,” hopes the youngest player of the Dempo squad.
As far as Indian football is concerned, Myron might not be reckoning to be the next big star, but the process of molding and shaping the career of a player, capable of scoring goals day in and day out, has surely begun!