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CUNCOLIM'S PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF... ON THE FOOTBALL GROUND





Cuncolim Union football team has been able to make a mark in inter village

football in the last couple of years with their consistent performance in

the several inter village football tournaments held in South Goa. Recently,

Cuncolim Union won the Navelim Villagers Cup final at Navelim defeating Don

Bosco Oratory Fatorda.


This is the first title for Cuncolim Union in the season after finishing on

the losing side in four other finals and also bowing out in the semi-finals

on six occasions.


Marshaled and coached by an experienced campaigner in Levino Dias, the

coaching stalwart, Cuncolim Union has a well-devised youth development plan

in place for the last twelve years.


Persistent effort of Cuncolkars in grooming and guiding young footballers

have yield results. Three junior footballers from Cuncolim represented the

state last season, while another three of them are representing professional

league clubs. This year Sarvesh Naik and Satyadeep Naik represented the Goa

school state level team too.


This writer, secretary of the club, has penned these few lines for

Cuncolim residents across the globe, reading this out there via the

Net. This article takes a closer look at the club to find out more

about its progress made over the past 32 years of its existance.


Cuncolim Union was officially registered in 1972, but existed even before,

during the pre-1961 period both in Goa and in Mumbai, among expats. It took

part in the inter village football tournaments in Mumbai and football

tournaments in Goa.


The Mumbai unit of Cuncolim Union had to change its name to the present

Cuncolim Association Mumbai owing to the rules in force in Mumbai (then

still called Bombay).


Incidentally Cuncolim Association Mumbai was instrumental in

sponsoring the Cuncolim inter village and youth teams for the ten

years in the period between 1990-2000. In the last four years, the

Cuncolim counterparts in Mumbai have been linked with Cuncolim Union

under 12, under 15 and other youth teams. The budget of the youth

team has been funded by Cuncolim Association Mumbai. Thanks to the

efforts of the team headed by Robin Almeida, the help for last ten

years has lead to the flowering of many a young footballer.


Records available with club indicate that High Court judge Justice Ferdino

Rebello, Justice Nelson Britto, late Baldwin Coutinho (ex-chief officer

Margao Municipality), Armando Barbosa (ex-hief officer and sub-divisional

magistrate at Quepem), Joasinho Fernandes, Alvito Coutinho, Robert Almeida,

Orlando Coutinho, Adv Shripad Patnekar, Sylvano Rodrigues, Levino Dias,

Zephyrus Mascarenhas, Ramesh Dessai, Altinho Gomes and the late John

Fernandes were the group of persons with sporting interests in mind who set

up the union in 1972, registering it with the Goa Football Association and

the Sports Authority of Goa.


Its constitution laid down the aims and objectives as encouraging sports

and, fostering social co-operation among the villagers of Cuncolim and

promoting their social economic and intellectual advancement by holding a

social gathering at least once a year, encouraging activities such as

sports, arts and crafts, besides organising debates, lectures and other

literary activities.


Cuncolim Union old time players and supporters have strong affiliation and

fondness for the three-coloured dress which they wore in the earlier years.

The colours of yellow, red and green made the Cuncolim team stand out over

others on the football field, and each of colours signified a unique feature

of Cuncolim village, which the players carried onto the football field.


Former secretary of Cuncolim Union Prof Vers Coutinho, a former

professor at the Chicago University in USA, informs that the logo of

Cuncolim Union is the torch and the red colour on the dress reminds

Cuncolim people of the blood that their forefathers shed for

Cuncolim. The torch of the 'jyot' reminds them that the people of

Cuncolim were in the forefront of leading their opposition to alien

rule, he adds.


On the current performance in this season, Cuncolim has been unable to break

the jinxed of losing in the finals. On four occasions that the club has

reached the finals, it finished the losing side on all occasions.


The inter-village team has also lost out in seven semi-finals, losing yet

another chance to have a shot at the title.


Treasurer and technical director of the team and former Dempo Sports Club

striker Siano Fernandes credits the success to hard work of the boys, but

adds there is scope for improvement. New players are coming up and there is

competition for places, he adds. The key area is the goal-keeping, where

Cuncolim Union are looking for safe pair of hands. The boys are always eager

to give their best.


Among young keepers Tevlon Furtado, Zico Fernandes -- all from the under 18

group -- have shown promise but they will need another one to two years to

drafted into the senior team adds coach Levino Dias.


Cuncolim Union officials attributed the growing interest in football in

Cuncolim to the competition for youth teams. The youth teams which are

imparted training through out the year by coach Levino Dias, on a voluntary

basis.


Incidentally, Dias has been coach of the Goa Junior, Sub-Junior Boys and

Girls teams for several years and had brought laurels for the state. Dias'

coaching career extending close to 30 years.


The club has their own ground not of international standards but

sufficient enough for nine-a-side competition in Culvaddo. The

ground which is a paddy field is not available during the rainy

season, as it serves as a pond for excess water.


In the last ten years the club have been having difficulties to use

the ground even in the non-rainy season. Cuncolim Union officials

pointed out that excess water which being released from the Selaulim

water supply for irrigation purpose finds its way to the field,

rendering it unfit for any sporting activity.


Earlier the ground use to play hosts to the Cuncolim athletic meet and also

the athletic meets of the five schools, two higher secondary and one college

from Cuncolim.


This club has been looking for a plot of land to build their own premises

for last 15 years. Several attempts to build an own club building have run

into trouble waters. The club is pinning their hopes of getting at least a

small club house at the new SAG ground in Cuncolim.


An earlier generation of footballers were inspired by the like of late

Basilio Menezes (Tata Sports Club, Mumbai). Menezes, old timers inform, was

a wizard with the football in the field, scoring goals at will. The best

striker Cuncolim has produced so far, they recall.


The current generation of footballers from Cuncolim draw inspiration from a

few professional footballers based from Cuncolim like Mahesh Gawali

(Mahindra United), Fredy Mascarenhas, Micky Fernandes (Salgaocars) and Rovan

Colaco (MPT). Youngsters have them as role model and with a good training

and guidance at the young age at the village level, are set to make a mark

on the football scene in years to come. More and more footballers from

Cuncolim are keen and eager to emulate their heroes, with football getting a

precedent over all other sports in historically-rich Cuncolim.


-------------------------------------------------------------------

ROLL OF HONOUR

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Referees: (FIFA grade) Alex Vaz, Late J.P Coutinho, Floriano Sanchez


National grade referees- Benis Coutinho, Late Salvador Moraes and

Julian Rego.


International footballers- Ashok Fadte, Mahesh Gawali, Anant Vaidya,

late Basilo Menezes.


Cuncolim players who played in the first division and professional

league in Goa and senior division league in Mumbai-


Rajkapoor Lotilkar, Siano Fernandes, Krishna Shirdokar, Donwin

Fernandes, Dayanand Dabolkar, Fredy Mascarenhas, Micky Fernandes,

Daryl Gama, Santan Gomes, Levino Dias, Braz Dias, Lourdes Dias,

Irron Almeida, Wilson Coutinho, Peter Dias, Terzito Fernandes,

Anthony Fernandes, Pralhad Dessai, Savio Gama, Nazario Coutinho,

Philip Coutinho, Feliciano Fernandes, Bhicu Dessai, Prabhakar

Vaidya, Late Romeo Furtado, Julian Rego, Late Tito Coutinho, Mario

Faria, Plus Faria, Late Rego, Late Claude De Souza, Joaquim

Fernandes, Grenville Crasto, Dr Ires D Souza, James D Souza, Late

Luizinho Dias , Late Piety D Souza, Late Basilo Menezes, Late

Govind Angle, Late Asilipio Gama, , Manish Godekar.

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