Brandon Fernandes (born 20 September 1994) is an Indian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Churchill Brothers in the I-League.
Born in Margao, Goa, Fernandes started playing competitive football at age six when his parents got him into the youth set-up at Fransa-Pax. After Fransa-Pax disbanded, he moved to the youth set-up at Velsao Pale Sports Club where he played for the clubs under-14 side as an eight year old. After spending time with Velsao Pale, Fernandes moved to the Goa United Football Academy before being signed by Salgaocar to join their under-14 side. During his time at Salgaocar, he represented the team at the under-14, under-16, and under-19 levels.
After impressive performances for both Salgaocar and the India under-20 side, Brandon was enrolled into the ASD Football Academy in Cape Town, South Africa. While with ASD, Fernandes attracted many scouts from around Europe resulting in trials from three English clubs, Leicester City, Reading, and Sunderland, but could not earn a contract at any of those clubs. Fernandes also played for the ASD Cape Town team in the SAFA Second Division, the third-tier of South African football, where he managed to score 12 goals from 12 matches, 4 of which were free-kicks.
Before playing in the Lusophony Games in 2014, Fernandes was supposed to go on trial with AS Monaco but the trials never materialized. After impressing for Goa during the 2014 Lusophony Games, he rejected offers from seven different I-Leagueclubs, stating that he would like to wait for an offer from a European club: “I’ve had offers from Indian clubs but I haven’t taken them. I’m at a different level now and have a particular standard after returning from ASD. I’ve been across Europe and have acquainted myself to their speed of the game”.
A year after his contract with ASD Cape Town expired, and after saying in the past that he would not play in the I-League, Fernandes returned to India to sign for Sporting Goa. He made his professional debut for the club on 8 February 2015 against Mumbai at the Cooperage Ground, starting the match and playing 23 minutes before being substituted off due to an injury as Sporting Goa drew the match 0–0. He returned from injury to make his second appearance for Sporting Goa against Royal Wahingdoh, coming on as a 68th-minute substitute for Anthony Wolfe, and was booked as Sporting drew 0–0. Brandon scored his first senior professional goal against Salgaocar on 19 April 2015 in a 2-0 win for Sporting Goa.
Fernandes then put in a man of the match performance over Bharat FC on 2 May 2015. Pressuring the Bharat FC defense throughout his 88 minutes on the pitch, he scored from a free-kick in the 42nd minute to help Sporting Goa win 2–0, their second victory of the season entering the final month of the campaign. After the match, Fernandes was praised by Sporting Goa head coach, Mateus Costa, when he said that “Since Brandon joined our squad, things have really changed. He is very good on the wing and we were lacking that kind of a player. He is also a free-kick specialist and the goal that he scored today was beautiful”.
Fernandes then scored another well struck goal on 20 May 2015 against Shillong Lajong. Pouncing on a mistake by Shillong Lajong goalkeeper, Rehenesh TP, in which the keeper miss kicked his clearance, Brandon slotted the ball into the net from more than 30 yards out. Sporting Goa went on to win 2–1. He assisted Sandesh Jhingan in the final round of the season, from a corner, in an eventual 4-0 win for his team, thus helping confirming the status of his team in the top flight for the next I-League season.
Brandon was picked up in the 2015 Indian Super League draft by Mumbai City during the first round for Rs. 12 lakhs. Having missed the first 7 rounds of the 2015 Indian Super League season through injury, Brandon made his debut against Delhi Dynamos in round 8, coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw for his team. On his first start for Mumbai City, which was his second appearance of the season, Brandon was injured and ruled out of the season.
Mohun Bagan (loan)
On 6 January 2016 it was announced that Brandon has signed for reigning I-League champions Mohun Bagan on loan from Mumbai City. He made his debut for Mohun Bagan on 30 January 2016 against DSK Shivajians. He played 60 minutes as Mohun Bagan won the match 2–0.He scored his first goal for the club a month later on 1 March against Sporting Goa. His strike came in the 28th minute but Fernandes had to be taken off the pitch four minutes later due to a knee injury. It was later revealed that Fernandes would most likely require surgery on his knee.
Brandon signed for the newly re-instated I-League club Churchill Brothers for the 2016-17 I-League season. After missing out on large portions of the previous two years through injury, Brandon would have a very active season as he appeared 15 times in the league for Churchill where he would score 3 goals and would finish as the highest provider of assists with 7 assists . The high point of his season would be the game against Chennai City where he would assist 4 times and score once in a 6-1 win for his team. He would also play in the Federation Cup but could not help his team qualify for the semi-finals.
While playing for Velsao Pale, Fernandes was selected to join the India U14 side during the AFC U-14 Football Festival in 2007. He then went on to captain the India U17 which won the Coca Cola Celebration Cup in 2010. Fernandes also scored in his first ever match for the India U20 team on 31 October 2011 against Turkmenistan during the 2012 AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers.
In 2014, Fernandes represented his home state, Goa-India, during the 2014 Lusophony Games. He played in the final of the tournament, assisting twice and scoring once from the penalty spot, as Goa beat the under-20 team of Mozambique to become the champions at the Lusophony Games. Brandon played 4 times, and scored thrice during the Lusophony games. Source