Shrinivas Dempo, president of Dempo Sports Club, is aiming for a strong grassroots foundation that can work well with the youth development model and also boost the senior team in the years to come. The club president, however, hoped for the AIFF to be clear on the path ahead for clubs in Indian football.
Saying that Dempo SC had been working to build a team from the grassroots, Dempo told The Navhind Times, “The current structure has laid the foundation for the club, the coaches and players to compete at the highest levels in Indian football. The current roadmap to the top flight of Indian football is still a little unclear.” He added, “Once the AIFF clarifies and shows the path for clubs in Indian football, we will be able to position ourselves in the best possible way.”
The players seem to have found form as the club ended the season on a high being crowned champions of the Goa Professional League and the GFA U-20 Taca Goa First Division League, organised by the State football governing body. With the wins, Dempo feels the aims are beginning to be met after the club withdrew from the I-League due to the unclear roadmap and started focusing on the grassroots. “The aims are starting to be achieved, and the success of the two senior-most teams at the club is the fillip that it needs to build on,” Dempo said. “The aim would be to extend this model with the younger teams too and maintain levels of consistency.”
The Golden Eagles dominated the season; winning the Goa Professional league after over a decade was a statement in itself while the unbeaten run in the U-20 league proved worthwhile since the beginning of the Dempo Sports Academy at Ella in 2016. “The success of the senior team and the U-20 team exemplifies the structures and processes put in place over the past few years to achieve great things. It is a great feeling to see the hard work of everyone at the club being rewarded with these two titles this year,” Dempo stated.
Further, the club is looking to work with the different age groups to strengthen the team. “With regard to the Academy, we will look to restart the age groups impacted by the pandemic over the past 2-3 years and look to build a strong grassroots foundation that can feed into our youth development model. This will ensure that we augment our senior teams in the years to come.”