FC Goa's new signing Jorge Ortiz, who turned 28 in April, is excited by the prospect of playing in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the peak of his career.
Speaking at a virtual press conference on Friday, the Spaniard said that he was particularly impressed by the consistency in the club's approach to football. Over the years, the Gaurs have been able to create a unique identity in Indian football and they have chosen a young coach in Juan Ferrando to take over the project which was so well managed by Sergio Lobera until last season.
"The decision to choose Goa was very simple. The big reason was that the club has been consistently doing well in the last few years and another reason is that players whom I have played with before only had good things to say about the club," Ortiz began.
"Also, in terms of my age, I am reaching the peak of my career. It's a different challenge to be able to perform in the peak time of my career. The club has also chosen a young coach who is obviously planning for a long term project. So that motivated me to sign up for the club."
With the arrival of the new coach, there are new faces in the Goa dressing room. The winger believes it is important to be part of a good dressing room in order to be successful and is hoping to experience the same with the Gaurs.
"It is very important to be a part of a good dressing room, especially because I am playing outside Spain for the first time. To know the people I will be playing and working with is very important. I have been part of a good dressing room and the results showed because of that.
"Given the fact that FC Goa have seen a lot of success in the previous seasons with a stable dressing room, it was very important to see the names that came in and who have always been here."
"I don't feel any sense of pressure in that respect (replacing big names at the club). Whenever you go to a different club, you try to make your point and you don't rest on your past laurels. Also, the club will be playing in Asia (ACL) for the first time, the challenge is no longer to perform well in the ISL but also to perform at a better level. So for me, it's always about focusing on my objectives and improve my own numbers."
Ortis was part of Atletico Baleares's team that played the Segunda Division B play-offs in July 2020 and the winger knows exactly what it feels like to play behind-closed-doors due to Coronavirus pandemic. The ISL 2020-21 season is also set to be organized in a similar manner.
"When I was playing my last few matches in Spain in the play-offs, we played behind closed doors. It affects any player because you sign for the fans. Even when I signed for Goa, I was told a lot about the fans. So I hope, as soon as the situation gets better, we can see fans back in action. Ultimately, we have to ensure that the players remain united and motivate each other.
"Hopefully, we can continue to do good things on the pitch to have something we can celebrate with the fans at the end of the season. When we achieve a season like that, whatever is happening around us will only remain a footnote rather than become the main story."