New Delhi [India], February 15 (ANI): Wayne Vaz has played his football in most corners of the country across the top two divisions of Indian Football. Starting out at Chennai City FC, the Mumbai-born defender was picked by FC Pune City in 2017. After being loaned out to Churchill Brothers, he racked up a number of appearances across two seasons for the Goan side before signing for NorthEast United FC. The 27-year-old is back in the I-League with Mohammedan Sporting and is eyeing the top prize with the Black Panthers.
"We started off the year with a good pre-season, also getting to the final of the Durand Cup and winning the Calcutta League. We want to move forward with the same momentum built up over the last few months into I-League restart," said Vaz.
Mohammedan Sporting have recruited heavily over the last year or so and that seems to be paying off handsomely, with the club ending their 40-year Calcutta League title drought.
"We have an amazing squad with a mix of young and experienced players. The boys are really excited, motivated and eager to start the season again training hard every day. After all, we can't live without playing football," smiled Vaz.
Head coach Andrey Chernyshov has preferred to use a stable starting XI since he has come in. For those not playing regularly, it can sometimes be difficult to strike a rhythm when suddenly thrust into the starting line-up.
"I don't think it's difficult to perform at high levels with my experience and games under my belt although playing regularly is very important. Having an injury-hit season last year was difficult since I didn't play much. But this season I'm ready and fit to play whenever the coach needs me." said Vaz.
With the I-League being held in Kolkata in a secure bio-bubble, Mohammedan Sporting are the only team based out of this region.
"I wouldn't really consider it to be a home advantage since we're missing the fans and they play a big role in helping us give 100 per cent and get behind the team during the games. But we're used to the pitches and conditions since we're training here in Kolkata throughout the season," he said.
Vaz has had a variety of defensive partners in his career, the latest of them being Arijeet Singh and the Syrian Shaher Shaheen.
"I'm always looking to learn and develop my style of play and coach Andrey is a great teacher," he said. "Shaher is an experienced player and playing alongside him is very easy. I'm working on getting my technical side stronger as well as physically." (ANI)