Ishan Pandita’s arrival in the Indian Super League was met with a lot of hype when the forward moved from fourth-tier Spanish League side Lorca FC to FC Goa in October last year.
Moving to Spain in 2014, the New Delhi-born has played in the youth set up of UD Almera, before moving to CD Leganes and signing a professional contract in 2016. It was followed by stints at the U-23 side of Nastic de Tarragona before Lorca FC came calling in 2019.
Pandita’s talent was closely monitored by multiple ISL sides like ATK Mohun Bagan, SC East Bengal, Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters but the 22-year-old striker chose the Gaurs. And the centre-forward believes FCG’s system and coach Juan Ferrando’s playing style influenced his decision.
“Juan Ferrando’s style of play, the high press, keeping the ball and playing good attacking football drew me to FC Goa,” Ishan Pandita said in an interview with SportsAdda.
“I’ve come into a system which is a lot like where I was playing before. We have a Spanish coach so the transition for me from Spain to India was quite smooth,” he added.
Improving under Angulo
With FC Goa centre-forward Igor Angulo in stupendous form – scoring nine goals in 12 matches – and winger Jorge Ortiz providing the perfect support, young Pandita’s ISL action has been limited so far.
However, the youngster is using this opportunity to learn from Angulo in training sessions. “Igor is a great player. Training with him every day is a massive experience for me to learn and few things here and there.”
“We speak a lot and he is always trying to help me improve in a few aspects,” Pandita added.
Despite Pandita’s playing time coming in small chunks - 19 minutes in four matches to be precise - the striker has taken every chance that has come his way.
Having two shots on target, Pandita has scored two goals so far, boasting of a 100% conversion rate in ISL 2020-21 season. However, the forward believes in the plan of coach Ferrando and is happy to wait for his chance.
“I think I’ve done alright so far, 19 mins and 2 goals is a decent return. I’d love to play more, but I know the coach has a plan and it’s our job to be patient and wait for our opportunities,” added the Cristiano Ronaldo fan, who loves the Portuguese’ work ethic and professionalism.
FC Goa currently sit third in the ISL points table with 20 points after 13 games. The Gaurs take on SC East Bengal next on January 29, Friday.
Feature Image Courtesy: FC Goa