PANAJI: Saviour Gama is one of the established young local players in the FC Goa team. The 24-year-old left-back recently signed a new three-year contract with the Gaurs. His rise in the Indian footballing circuit has been phenomenal due to his all-action agressive-styled displays in the Hero Indian Super League. However, not many will know that Gama would have been in the hospitality industry if not for his faith in his passion!

“It was the first day of training in a hotel – a live environment. They placed me in the kitchen – which I thought initially would be fun. Then I was stationed at the cutting station and they handed me a whole vessel filled with onions,” Gama told the club’s official website

“I finished cutting one whole vessel. And then they placed another.

“I cut onions that day for 10 hours. And with each passing hour, I was just asking myself as to why I was even there. ‘Is this what I am going to do for the rest of my life?’

This was after Saviour’s parents had enrolled him in a Hotel Management institute, spending a near fortune on tuition fees. The youngster though had other ideas.

“I came back home and told my parents that I am not going back. I was verbally thrashed, I knew my father had spent a lot of money for my course, but I was not ready to give up on my dreams.”

A find of Goan scout Joaquim Crasto,
Gama then honed his skills at Bardez FC under coach Armando Colaco.

After a good season with Bardez, Gama went on to Sesa Football Academy, where he spent a season on loan before FC Goa signed him up in 2017. A part of the Gaurs’ Developmental team his first season, Gama’s performances caught the attention of all and sundry. In 2018, he was registered for the Indian Super League. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Known for his liberal use of sliding tackle, Gama’s footballing knowledge improved thanks to former Gaur, Carlos Pena.

“I have learnt a lot now, especially in the last three years. (Carlos) Peña always used to be in my ears. To not lunge in and the basics of football,” recalls Gama. “I wish I had someone to teach me all these things when I was young.

“Peña told me time and again that a sliding tackle is the last form of defence. But if you come from where I come from, the inter-village tournaments and all – a sliding tackle is more than just a football move.

“It’s a very physical brand of football that we are used to. When you slide in wipe out everything – man, ball, everything – your opponent remembers. He knows that this is not going to be a walk in the park. That I am not afraid,” added Gama.


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