Panaji: FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera Rodriguez is looking forward to get the best out of the Indian Super League season 2017-18 players draft, scheduled to be held on Sunday in Mumbai.
The players draft will feature 10 clubs, including the new two entrants — Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC — who will vie for the finest footballers from a strong army of 200-plus Indian players.
"The ISL Indian players draft will certainly be a new experience for me. It's bound to be challenging not only for me but for everyone. I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out. We have prepared well for the draft and we will definitely try to bring some of the better players on board when we get to pick players in round four," said the coach.
"There are 26 players from Goa. Among them, Mandar Rao Desai and Laximikant Kattimani have been retained by FC Goa, while the fate of the remaining 24 will be decided tomorrow.
ISL regulations allow clubs to have a minimum of 15 and maximum of 18 players in the squad, including two U-21 players mandatorily.
The clubs were allowed to retain a maximum of two senior players from their 2016 squad, in addition to retaining up to three U-21 players to fill up the development player quota.
Eight of the nine teams have made the most of the retention regulation for the season by signing 22 domestic players in a bid to create the core of their squad.
Delhi Dynamos have opted to begin on a fresh note for the upcoming season.
Brandon Fernades, who played for FC Goa last season, chose to return to Goa from Europe and try to get to play the fourth season of the ISL.
"Anything can happen at the ISL Draft. It's going to be a surprise tomorrow. I will just wait and hope for the best. Season 4 of ISL promises to be just as exciting as the previous seasons.
Lenny Rodrigues, who has been the highest priced among the FC Goans players, said: "I am excited about the fourth season. The first three years have been fantastic. Whichever team picks me for the draft. I will give my best for the club and hope to win the trophy this season.
Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 15:39:58 IST