Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Here to make a difference, win the title: Fall

29th September 2018, 03:47 Hrs

Basil Sylvester Pinto   

PANAJI  

A gentle giant off the field with a jovial attitude, but place him on the field as a centre-back he transforms into a robust defender in the heart of the back-wall. Mourtada Fall, the 30-year-old Senegalese, is one of the three new foreign acquisitions for the season in the FC Goa camp.   

With the introduction of the dreadlocked strapping six-foot three-inch Fall in the side, the slogan of the Gaurs #NowWeRise comes with a point to prove that their susceptibilities at the back from the last season are a lull to a new dawn. If one was to see him at training or in the friendly at Bambolim recently, Fall’s towering height, swift movement and ability to move out the ball from the defence effectively along with his advantageous frame on set pieces could make a world of a difference to the side this season.   

“I have not seen any footage of the league but from what I understand it will be at a hard level. I swear to do well with FC Goa this year, help the other players and try to have a good season by winning the league and the trophy for the side,” the thrice-capped Senegal centre-back declared.   

Coming to India for the ISL was put over and above other tempting offers that came his way from countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. “The coach (Sergio Lobera) had told me in March about ISL and being a part of FC Goa. He was my coach in Morocco where I was plying my trade. He spoke to me about coming to India, and experiencing a new side in FC Goa which he helmed,” he revealed. Knowing Lobera well, Fall was more than happy to take up the offer and share in his experience with the youngsters of the Goa franchise. 

Prior to signing on the dotted line for FC Goa this season, Fall had plied his trade in Morocco for top clubs like Wydad Casablanca and Moghreb Tétouan. Sharing his impression on the Indian players that he first saw when he trained alongside them at the pre-season in Murica, Spain, he had this to say. “I found out that the Indian players have a good work ethic which is good for the team. If the players like to work hard, then even if they are little bad initially, there is nothing to worry about. After a while, they will reach a good level. They are very passionate about the game, and do not play for money or take it as a job. In fact, you cannot tell who is a professional player from an Indian player,” he maintained.   Fall cherished playing in front of a large fan base in a friendly at their practice ground in Bambolim recently. “The fans are very good and I am extremely thankful to the FC Goa fans. They not only enjoy the game but also ensure the players are not down. They have a very important part in helping the team’s cause,” he gratefully said. He is in cognizance to the fact that there is a chant to his name by one of the Fan Clubs (East Lower Army) as well. “I come in as a new player here. It motivates me a lot when they chant my name and I need to show them what I can do,” he said.   

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