The young speedy striker Akeraj Martins created club history on Friday after becoming the first player to graduate to the Sporting Clube de Goa senior side after representing all the SCG age group Academy teams namely U-14, U-16, U-18, U-19 and U-20.
Akeraj was elated with the promotion. Speaking after signing professional terms with his boy-hood club at the SCG Headquarters said “My dream is finally turning into reality. I will work hard in training and take my opportunities when they come.”
Akeraj turned 18 just a fortnight ago and could become the youngest player to don the famous Flaming Oranje jersey when the Goa Pro League kicks off next month.
“Akeraj has shown tremendous maturity over the years which allowed the club to let him play with an older age group to keep challenging him and continue his long term development. He has also captained the various teams’ right up to the U-19 I-League on numerous occasions,” stated Sporting Goa’s Manager Angelo Albuquerque.
Local boy Akeraj hails from Don Paula and studies at Don Bosco in Panjim which has made his transition through the SCG ranks a smooth one. He fondly remembers coming to School as a youngster and watching the Sporting Goa senior team train on a daily basis which inspired him to reach for the stars.
For his School he has won a lot of silver-ware, where he trained under the dedicated PE teacher Francis Raposa who thought him the fundamentals of football and discipline. The highlight for Akeraj was winning the Mir Iqbal Hussein U-15 trophy.
Apart from supporting Sporting Clube de Goa, Akeraj also follows Manchester United in the EPL and his favourite player is the mercurial Wayne Rooney. Although Akeraj is not the biggest of players, he sure makes up for it with his explosiveness and eye for goal.
Akeraj has proudly represented the State of Goa at various national age group competitions. He has also played in the Gfa 1st division with Panjim Footballers after helping them come up from the 3rd tier of Goan Football.
“The club is delighted with Akeraj’s progress having been with us right from the start of his career. We are happy that our Youth development programme is starting to bear fruit and also fulfil our President Peter Vaz’s aspirations of promoting Goan talent,” commented Sporting Clube de Goa’s CEO Victor Fernandes.
“We are hoping Akeraj can become a role model for more students to transform their passion into a profession and play for Sporting Clube de Goa,” stated Don Bosco Principal Rev. Fr. Avin Carvalho.