The midfielder also opened up about how the competition helped him earn a first-team spot.

Muhammed Nemil has resumed his foray into the Durand Cup! Last time out, the 21-year-old scored four goals including a brace against Sudeva Delhi. This time he chose Mohammedan SC to start the scoring streak. The first half of the 2022 Durand Cup opener saw FC Goa take a one-goal lead, courtesy of a weaker-footed golazo from the youngster.

Muhammed Nemil recently spoke to the Durand Cup media. Here is what he said.

The Durand Cup is an excellent platform for young people. Your views?

Yes, the Durand Cup is a great platform for young players. I am personally grateful for the opportunity I had in the Durand Cup last year as my performances there helped me earn a place in the FC Goa first team.

And it’s not just about first-team opportunities – as youngsters, the more we play, the more we develop and become even better footballers. On that note, the playing time and experience we gain playing the Durand Cup will certainly benefit us greatly.

FC Goa vs Mohammedan SC in season opener. Your views?

It was a very intense match and we did our best to win and start the tournament with a win, but they were a strong team indeed, but I would like to focus on me and my team, and what we can do to get results from each match. I am happy to be back and to score the first goal of this Indian Oil Durand Cup 131st edition.

What do you think of this year’s Durand Cup? Your plans and objective?

I’m glad to be back. Last year I did well in the Durand Cup and that helped me earn a place in the FC Goa first team. This year, I hope to work even harder and help the team achieve good results. Our team is full of talented young players who are all very keen to make a good impact, and I hope we can win the trophy together.

How has Indian football developed this year?

The addition of the Durand Cup, Super Cup, etc. to the Indian football calendar is a big boost as it promises players more playing time. The more we play the more we develop as players and this is one of the ways in which the quality of football Indian can grow.

Message to the fans who will follow the tournament this season?

The last time I played in front of fans was in the Durand Cup final last year, which we won. We missed the fan presence during ISL, so we’re happy to see them back this time. To the fans of FC Goa, thank you for all your support of me and the team all these years, and I hope that many of you will return to Kolkata again and cheer us on – as we hope to bring the trophy back to the home once again.

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