New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) As many as six players made their national team debut in the Kings Cup in Thailand under Head Coach Igor Stimac. One of them was Brandon Fernandes, who had been knocking on the doors of the national side for quite some time and the attacking midfielder has credited the coach for the call up.
“It was a great experience to get my first India cap, that too against a top side like Curacao,” said Brandon. “I had been waiting to get into the team for a while. I knew that my chance would soon come. The coach eventually called me up, and I will eternally remain grateful to him,” he added.
Brandon believes that the Blue Tigers have displayed a fluid passing game in the two matches under Stimac. Having played a similar style at FC Goa, Brandon believes that he “found it easy to fit into the system” in his very first game.
“The way we were playing, both in the camp and in the King’s Cup was quite similar to how we play at FC Goa. So it was quite easy for me to fit into the system. It’s a style of play which is built on passing the ball, and creating chances,” he said.
However, despite playing a style that is similar to the one played at his club, Brandon believes that he still has a lot to learn.
“I learn a lot from the experienced players at the camp ahead of the King’s Cup. Training with players of such quality means that you get to pick up the little things that they do differently on the pitch, that perhaps sets them apart,” the 24-year-old stated.
After the two matches in the King’s Cup, the Blue Tigers will now be looking ahead to the Hero Intercontinental Cup, which kicks-off at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad on July 7.
“It’s just been a couple of matches now. The Intercontinental Cup will be crucial in preparing the team. I would give it my best to be in the final 23.”
Brandon’s journey had begun at the AIFF Academy long back as he was an integral part of Colm Toal’s Under-19 National squad which played in the AFC U-19 Qualifiers in Tehran – Pritam Kotal, Narayan Das, Pronoy Halder, Halicharan Narzary, Sehnaj Singh being his batch mates.
He then moved on to his hometown club Salgaocar, and also had an opportunity of playing for ASD Cape Town in South Africa, which he feels “further helped me improve as a player.”