Glan couldn’t help but admit that he would like to earn a permanent deal with the Gaurs…
Goan midfielder Glan Martins announced himself well and truly in FC Goa’s 3-3 draw against Mumbai City by scoring his first goal in the Indian Super League (ISL).
The 26-year-old had moved to FC Goa after starting the season with ATK Mohun Bagan with whom he penned a two-year-deal. He made his ISL debut for the Mariners, coming on as an 84th-minute substitute for Javi Hernandez in the 2-0 win over East Bengal earlier this season.
But after moving to FC Goa on loan till the end of the season, Martins made the country sit up and take note of him by scoring a long-range piledriver that flew past a hapless Amrinder Singh in goal. He spoke to Goal about his move to Goa and what transpired through his mind as he scored in what could be potentially termed as the goal of the season.
“When my agent asked me a couple of days before (the move to Goa) ‘do you want to join FC Goa?’, I told him that I’m ready to join FC Goa anytime,” Martins narrated.
“I didn’t know that Lenny (Rodrigues) was joining there (ATK Mohun Bagan) until very late. Lenny is also a good player. There were other players also (at Goa), like Princeton (Rebello) also was doing well. There is competition anywhere you go. It’s never a given that you will join somewhere and immediately start playing,” he added.
Glan was a regular at Goan I-League outfit Churchill Brothers before stepping into the ISL. And his patience has been rewarded finally.
Having joined Sesa Football Academy in 2010, he was selected for combined trials for a few United Soccer League (USL) teams in Florida, United States, in 2014.
“There was a coach at Sesa, Tasos (Sioulas), and I was in the junior batch. I got promoted in the senior team in the second year under him. I started scoring goals and giving assists in the Goa Pro League and I became a regular as an under 20. That’s when he (Sioulas) made some videos of me and recommended me for the trials to Florida. So that’s how I got there for about a week. I was just 18 that time but it was a very good experience for me,” Martins recalled.
Coming back to Goa, he joined Sporting Goa in 2015.
“I played in the I-League for the first two years. Then they withdrew the team and I played for three years in the Goa League. That was the most difficult time for me when I had to play for three years only in the Goa League before joining Churchill Brothers in the I-League before coming here.
“I did not give up. I just did whatever I did every day despite seeing everyone whom I was playing with at a time already make it in the ISL. I stayed positive and focused to move forward and that’s how I got here.”
It was during this time that the late Sporting Goa president Peter Vaz played a crucial role in Glan starting to attempt long rangers.
“He (Vaz) always believed in me. When I was at Sporting, he used to always tell me, ‘Glan, you have a very good shot. You should just try from far.’ So I started scoring very good goals.
Martins further went on to reveal that he was speechless after scoring that goal.
“I don’t know what to say but I’m very happy to get this goal. I always kept working hard in training. We were two goals down and I wanted my team to get back in the game. So when I got the ball, I had some time to get behind it and thankfully the shot connected well. I have scored goals like this when I was at Sporting, in the Durand Cup, but this was top class,” he said.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 8, 2021
The FC Goa stint also gives Glan the opportunity to experience a new level of football as the club will be involved in the AFC Champions League later this season.
“I signed with ATK Mohun Bagan for two years but let’s see what happens,” he said. “I’ll be here for the AFC Champions League as well. I think all the patience that I had for all these years has paid off and now with this opportunity, I have to make the best of it.”
The versatile midfielder rather quickly adapted from Antonio Habas’ setup at Bagan to Juan Ferrando’s philosophy at Goa. And with four games to go ahead of the ISL play-offs, while the Mariners (second, 33 points) are currently in a better position, Martins’ allegiance is now with Goa (third, 23 points).
“Every coach has a different playing style. The day I arrived (to the FC Goa camp), the coach (Ferrando) told me, ‘I know that you are a good player. Even if you make a small mistake, don’t worry about it’. So that confidence helped me gel with the team faster and everyone here has been helping me a lot.
“We have our chances of qualifying in the play-offs. So I don’t want to see who is above us and we are thinking all about us making it to the play-offs,” he wound up as Goa stepped up preparations to take on Chennaiyin on Saturday.