The Salgaocar FC academy product hopes for a starring role under Albert Roca…
Liston Colaco had been earmarked by FC Goa back in 2017 as a player with potential when they signed him from Salgaocar FC. However, the Goan forward continued to remain on the fringes of the Gaurs’ squad for the best part of three years since.
He had to wait until a loan move materialised to Hyderabad FC in January 2020 to really make a mark in the Indian Super League (ISL).
The 21-year-old got his first full game when Hyderabad faced NorthEast United in their final league game of the season wherein he scored twice in the first 40 minutes. It must be noted that the Goan got 90 minutes under his belt for the very first time in close to three seasons.
Colaco’s journey in the ISL began after FC Goa took note of his exploits in the 2017 Santosh Trophy where he helped Goa reach the final, topping the scoring charts in the process. He was initially a part of their developmental squad before being promoted to the senior side.
“I lacked opportunities at FC Goa but when I moved to Hyderabad I felt that I had some hope (to perform) with some playing time. So I showed that I can do much better and next season is all about working harder to be at my best. I have to concentrate and stay focused,” he expressed to Goal.
In all, the forward made four appearances at Hyderabad under interim coach Javier Gurri as compared to his eight appearances at FC Goa, all off which were off the bench.
Having signed a two-year permanent contract with Hyderabad FC, Colaco hopes to develop further under Albert Roca as the Spaniard coach is set to take charge of the Nizams from the upcoming campaign.
“We have heard of his success with Bengaluru FC, I am hoping that he will help me to build up on my potential,” stated the Goan.
“Hyderabad’s playing style suited me. My role in the team helped me enjoy the game. Basically, I like to play a free game without much pressure and there was a lot of motivation from the coaches to play your own game,” he added.
Sergio Lobera didn’t tinker much with his line-up as he had several experienced players in his squad. For Colaco, to break into the line-up ahead of the likes of Brandon Fernandes or Jackichand Singh for certainly a difficult task given his inexperience.
However, the striker ensured that he remained focused on the task at hand which is to work on the basics and wait for his opportunity.
“The most important thing is that you should not get demotivated if you do not get a chance. You have to work hard, keep focused and keep trying at every opportunity that you get to show the qualities that you possess.”
Right from the U-14 age bracket at Salgaocar, Colaco has been among the goals. He was the top scorer at the 2016-17 I-League U-18 League (16 goals), and in the same season, led the scorer’s chart (13 goals) and helped the club clinch their 21st Goa Pro League title besides. He was also Goa’s top scorer at the 71st Santosh Trophy before joining FC Goa.
Liston was named in the probables for the Indian national team camp which was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I aim to work hard and be the best, and to be in the (India) national team, I will have to play more and more games,” Colaco vowed.