PANAJI: When FC Goa signed Muhammed Nemil two years ago, it was widely regarded as a statement of intent from the Indian Super League (ISL) club.
The youngster was among the first batch of graduates from the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC), having joined the programme as a 13-year-old in 2015. By the time FC Goa came calling, Nemil had already made a name for himself in the Indian youth football circles, and the club was lauded for taking him on board as it showcased their eye for scouting upcoming talents.
Two years later, the 20-year-old has definitely made a mark at the Goa-based club. His performances, especially in Durand Cups have caused followers of the sport in the country to sit up and take note.
In the 2021 edition of the tournament, the youngster racked up four goals in six appearances, including a brace against Jamshedpur FC in the group stages helping the Gaurs lift the trophy for the very first time.
And now, as the Boys in Orange look to defend their title in the ongoing edition of the Durand Cup, Nemil is once again the centre of attraction, having scored twice already in as many matches.
Though FC Goa suffered a 3-1 defeat in their campaign opener, Nemil's goal was one of the highlights of the match. His shot, directed into the top-left corner of the net, rendered the Black Panthers helpless as they conceded a shock lead.
A few days later, Muhammed Nemil's 8th-minute strike made all the difference between the Gaurs and the Indian Air Force football team. "I'm happy with both the goals I scored so far and I'm hoping to score more," Nemil said.
"Against Mohammedan, when I saw that the goalkeeper was protecting his near post, I realised that I had a chance if I aimed at the far corner of the net, although I was at a distance. I'm glad it worked, but not very happy considering the result of the match," the FC Goa player said.