Goakhabar: The Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) has empowered children in the state through football since its inception in 2014. It has given them a platform to establish their skills and follow their passion.

Larya Fernandes from Arambol is one perfect example that has taken her a long way, from playing at the beach to competing at the top level.

She was introduced to football at the age of seven by GFDC Arambol coach Jason Fernandes, who identified her skills. For the past three years she has trained rigorously under the watchful eyes of current coach Ansu, who holds a ‘D’ License in coaching and also coach Dietmar Fernandes has played a vital role in shaping her as a player.

Her hard work paid off this year at the fifth edition of the GFDC Rising Star Football Festival as she helped her team win the title. The 13-year-old played a crucial role in Arambol’s midfield, scoring on seven occasions. Last year too Larya was impressive with her 11 goals.

“Over the last two years Larya has transformed really well. She is a brilliant right-footer with amazing ball control. She has the agility to score goals and has turned out to be a free-kick specialist. Her only drawback is her speed in the game. She has a bright future,” stated her coach Ansu who believes Larya holds promise in the future.

Everyone in Larya’s family is happy that she embraces The Beautiful Game. Her father Prajoy, is a ‘D’ License certified coach too and trains her at the beach on days when GFDC doesn’t conduct coaching at the centre. He is one who inspires her the most.

Currently studying at Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School, Arambol, Larya guided her school to the final of the DSYA U-13 football tournament where they emerged state winners. She was also part of the U-14 school football team where they finished North District runners-up.

“My parish Arambol were runners-up at the All-Goa Altar Servers football tournament held in May 2017,” informed Larya, the GFDC Rising Star.

She is a die-hard fan of the Brazilian women’s football superstar, Marta and wants to play like her someday. “I need to work on my mistakes and improve. I need to concentrate more and achieve my goal of becoming a great footballer,” said Larya.