Goa's Sesa Football Academy last night felicitated three of their former Academy players - Micky Fernandes (Dempo SC), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers SC) - who have now gone on to represent India at international level.
The three boys where part of the 2002 to 2006 batch and have gone on to play for some of the biggest clubs in India besides representing the nation at junior and senior level. The three were all awarded Rs 100,000 (1 lakh) as a friendly gesture from the company for the services to football.
All three footballers thanked Sesa Goa, the Academy administration and coaches for what they are today with former coach Vishwas Gaonkar coming in for special praise in having helped the players develop at a crucial time of their careers.
The Sesa Football Academy was started in 1999 following the closure of the senior team in 1998 after they did not reach the top tier of the National Football League. Since then the focus has been on development of young talent. In 2008 the Sesa Group added a senior team to the Academy still with a focus on youth talent, especially players who have gone through the Academy system to play in the Goa Professional League and the 2nd Division I-League.
The function was held at the Academy premises and was attended by the Sesa Goa MD P.K. Mukherjee, who himself has been a positive factor behind the Academy; Irishman Terry Phelan, SFA's chief mentor; Dr. Bhatikar, SFA's administrator-cum-physician; advisor Brahmanand Shankwalkar; former coach Vishwas Gaonkar; coaches Clifford Chukuwama, Anthony D'Sousa, Agostinho Antao and Ajay Acharya.