Margao: Brandon Fernandes along with his parents and director of the Cape United Soccer School of Excellence, Keith Fordington has signed two years contract with Cape United Academy.
The 16-year-old Brandon, who plays for Salgaocar U-19, has become the first Asian to join a group of 30 boys chosen from around the world for the academy.
Most of them are from South Africa, England and Cameroon. There are 25 members of staff working round-the-clock to ensure that the boys footballing and educational needs are met.
Keith said the main benefit of the academy would be the level of competition Brandon will face.
“At the moment Brandon’s time on the ball is around 3-4 seconds, we need to get that down to 1.1 seconds as in Europe the game is played at a much faster pace,” said Keith.
“We will develop Brandon with the ultimate aim of playing in Europe. Our intense two years residential course focuses on football ability and education as well as teaching necessary life skills required for a career in the game,” said Keith, adding that around Rs 35-40 lakh will be spent on the Goan footballer in the next two years.
The academy is less than two years old, but has already established links with agents and clubs in Europe. The patron of the academy is former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright.
The players will travel to Europe in August for an exposure tour where they will play clubs in Denmark, Holland, Germany and Belgium.
Among those at the official signing is Steve White who seemed to be the happiest of the lot. The Chairman of Leiceser Sports Alliance flew down to Goa to oversee the signing said his efforts that started ten years ago with his first visit to Goa finally paid off.
“Goa is the centre for development of football in India. This talent needs to be nurtured and I can assure you that Brandon is in right hands,” White, formely the head of the Rushey Mead School in Leicester stated.