Friday, April 19, 2024

‘Hyderabad is going through its golden phase of football’

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The FIFA Worldcup fever is still high! And what better than bringing to you our new segment in context to football? This week for the Hyderabond, we bring to you our interaction with the midfielder for the Indian Super League club in Hyderabad, Dom Sahil Krishe de Noronha Tavora, aka Sahil Tavora.

Shikha Duggal

Coming from a special state with its own history called the land of three lingas, that’s our Telangana state: Dom Sahil Krishe de Noronha Tavora is also representative of Hyderabad’s heritage in so long. A professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Indian Super League club in Hyderabad knows well of the Portuguese culture and at the same time is mingling with Nizami arts too.

In an exclusive conversation with us, he speaks, “Hyderabad is producing the best players in football. We stand out with flying colours in every match we play across the country.

Though I am a Konkani, I represent Hyderabad city and that’s an honour. Football’s popularity is growing with dominant force here.” Born in Goa, Tavora was a part of both the Brasil Futebol Academia and Sesa Football Academy before signing with Arthur Papas managed Dempo in September 2013!” He continued, “Gachibowli crowd goes mad when we play, it’s a hearsay that we footballers have a pleasing style so many reserve their seats in the stadium to watch us kick. It’s a stable platform for me as a youngster and I am earning a comfortable livelihood through it.”

When he walks through the streets of Gachibowli, he has noticed how beautiful the space is lot! He mentioned to us, “Restaurants here have planters and wall hangings. The cafes are more than just a regular place to eat! I have also seen inclusive places where they allow art communities also to thrive.”

On 19 August 2016, it was announced that Tavora had signed with Goa of the Indian Super League. He made his professional debut for the team on against Pune city and he came on as an 82nd-minute substitute for Mandar Rao Desai! Additionally, he says, “It’s difficult during the training days so all of us need time to breathe some fresh air, so we go out for our indulgences. As I mentioned before, what’s attractive here is that spaces here encourage a gang of friends to jam anywhere, anytime. Partly like Goa. The city’s acceptance has gone beyond my expectations now.”

Tavora also moved abroad and signed with Campeonato de Portugal side GDSC Alvarenga. So he’s been almost everywhere however he accepts that a city like Hyderabad changes according to the needs of every individual that comes here to make a living.

“It’s the epicenter of growth. IT is seeing the maximum traction.The city also has a constant demand for residential real estate. Plus we have the famous NH44 connection. Who wouldn’t want to stay?” In the 2020–21 season, after having a goalless draw against FC Goa, he narrowly missed the play-offs as they finished 5th in the league table. But, he scored an important goal in the final of 2021–22 Indian Super League against Kerala Blasters and lifted the trophy through penalty-shootout!

He said, “Hyderabad is bigger than Goa atleast. It’s the main attraction socially and financially, my goa is a touristy place. Here I saw massive universities and defence units. My goa is no less (he laughs) It gives this tourist paradise a distinct, hard-to-quantify flavour! We can be with the people that share our traditions, language, and history there — it’s more relatable to me atleast. Nonetheless, there is a community spirit in Goans that none can deny.”

When asked about his fondest memory, it was but obvious for him to point a remembrance from the field only.  “Talent is blossoming rapidly as every nook and corner of the twin cities is producing excellent players. Hyderabad football is going through a golden phase and rarely any other city can dominate it at present,” he mentioned. Tavora has hailed head coach Manolo Marquez’s impact too that has helped create a close bond among the players in the team.

“Hyderabad is different from other teams because it has a family feel to it. We all are friends, we have fun and we eat together. We built on this and I believe this helped us to achieve what we have achieved. I was here since the beginning, and in the first year, the team wasn’t doing well and personally, I did not get much opportunity to play either.

It was a forgettable year for all of us but things started to change after that. It could be seen from Manolo Marquez’s arrival, the structural changes and the players they signed. They had a clear goal of what they wanted to achieve and where they progress,” he concludes.

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