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Zico begins scouting early to build a stronger squad in a longer ISL 4

FC GOA BEGAN ISL 3 WITH PROBLEMS and Zico had grapple with those problems till the end. It began with a change in mamangement after last year's controversial final. Among other issues, the biggest hurdle for FC Goa was the squad chosen which was clearly not what Zico had expected.

As reported by Navhind Times, sources close to FC Goa stated,

“Zico told Mody that he was handicapped by the quality of signings and the owner accepted the explanations. Both agreed that the team started with a disadvantage due to time constraints and Zico has been asked to go ahead and start assembling his team for the next season,”

The source went on to say,

“Mody may not know football but he can see and certain things that happened on the field were obvious”

A senior technical staff working with Zico shared Zico's thought over the phone to Navhind Times,

“My parents are old and need constant care. Since I have been told that the ISL will be of seven or eight months next year, I intend bringing my parents along,” stated a senior member of Zico’s technical team from Brazil over the phone."

There was a confusion with Subhasish Roy Choudhury being present at the pre-season was that he was there for trials. This was not true as the Indian keeper had already signed for the team. This disrupted Zico's plan who was looking to add a foriegn keeper in the squad. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, Zico already was in the hunt for a foreign keeper. The senior staff shared,

“There are Indian players who will be retained and quite a few who will be changed. Coach has already started scouting for a foreign goalkeeper”

Lucio, the Goa marquee for a second year, did not make a good impression this year with his performance and injury troubles and is unlikely to joining the squad again. The member of Zico's staff on this topic said,

"They both have a lot of respect for each other. I cannot say things were bad between the two but there was some discomfort”

Naming a few Indians who performed well for the Zico and company's liking said,

“Sanjay (Balmuchu), Debabrata and Raju (Gaikwad) were three Indian players that have been impressed all of us”

The teams and format of top tier in India next year is behind curtains and little can be said concluded about it. A senior member from ISL, on condition of anonymity shedding light on the contract of Indian players being for a year said,

“The teams were asked to do this as two more teams are expected to join the ISL. This was done so that the new teams would be on a level playing field with others when it came to selecting players,”

The ISL source continued,

“If there are more teams, the league is bound to be longer. I do not want to comment more at this stage”

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