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Ivan Gonzalez: Psychological preparation, a must for the long haul

FC Goa’s new man at the back Ivan Gonzalez, is thrilled to have finally landed in Goa and can’t wait to start preparations as the Gaurs look to defend their ISL League Winners’ Shield.

“Finally, we are here. It has been a long wait,” remarked the defender whilst in quarantine. “We are happy to be in India and start the preseason.

“Preseason will be crucial this season. I am looking forward to spending time with my teammates, coaches and staff. There is already a positive vibe that I get all around the club. I am looking forward to putting the grind in. We have to quickly grasp the details and get familiar with the coach’s style.”

The Spaniard, who was a defining presence at the back for Cultura Leonesa all these years will look to have a similar impact on the FC Goa team this season. Along with James Donachie, the 30-year-old will look to shore up the defence as the Gaurs again look to go in search of goals.

Have to be mentally strong

The new season has thrown up a whole new challenge for everyone in the league. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that all the games will be held in Goa and there will be no spectators in the stadium.

These new circumstances have altogether presented new scenarios which have become the norm. And that has now manifested new challenges. And Ivan Gonzalez addressed about the same.

“One of the most important things this season will be the psychological side of things. Psychological preparation is a must for the long haul. A lot of players will be away from homes and families. We have to be mentally strong. Our focus will have to be only on one thing – to get better every day,” remarked Gonzalez.

“The difference, this season might all come down to focus on the job ahead. I am not one for excuses and I won’t accept my team giving one as well. We will all look to work hard and improve every day.

“We only have 2-3 hours every day to train and it will be the best time of the day, for that reason. These two to three hours of training – we have to be focused, ready, and enjoy the work hard.”

After arriving in Goa on 10th October, Ivan Gonzalez is currently in quarantine for 14 days as per Indian Super League protocols.

About FC Goa

FC Goa is a professional football club based out of Goa that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL) and is the current holder of the Super Cup.  Nicknamed the Gaurs, FC Goa has been one of the most consistent teams in the ISL – reaching 3 semi-finals and 2 finals in 6 seasons.

In Season 2019/20, the club won the Hero ISL League Winners Shield, by finishing top of the table in the league stages and became the first-ever club from India to qualify for the group stages of the AFC Champions LeagueThe Gaurs are also the only ISL side to win more than 50 games and score more than 200 goals.

Co-owned by Mr Jaydev Mody, Mr Akshay Tandon and Mr Virat Kohli, FC Goa is one of Indian few Clubs to have a complete youth development ecosystem. It’s U14, U16, U18 and Developmental Teams compete at the highest levels in Goa and nationally. The system has produced recognizable talents like Saviour Gama, Princeton Rebello and many more. The Gaurs are also the Champions of the GFA U20 & GFA U18 Leagues and the winners of the Goa Professional League in 2018/19.

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