I-League outfit NEROCA FC have completed the signing of Trinidad and Tobago international Judah Garcia, Khel Now has learnt. The versatile attacker has put pen to paper on a deal that will see him play for the Imphal-based club in the upcoming 2020-21 I-League season.
“Judah Garcia has signed with NEROCA FC. He will join the club on a season-long deal,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. Earlier last week, the club also completed the signing of Judah’s eldest brother Nathaniel Garcia, who is already a fan-favourite in India from his playing days with another I-League side, Gokulam Kerala FC.
As for Judah Garcia, this will be his first professional stint outside his home country of Trinidad and Tobago, where he kick-started his career in 2016 with Point Fortin Civic FC, a club that plays in the TT Pro League – the top division of Trinidad and Tobago’s football league system. A talented attacking midfielder who can also play as a left or right-winger, he was just 16 years old at that time and consistent performances with them led to him being called up to the Trinidad and Tobago U-20 and U-21 teams the very next year. On April 18, 2018, he made his debut for the senior national team, coming on as a late substitute in a 1-0 defeat to Panama. Since then, he has played three more international matches till date –against Japan, St. Vincent and Mexico.
The 20-year-old started playing football at the age of seven, when he joined the academy of coach Dennis Cox, a very familiar name in Trinidadian footballing circles. Cox’s academy has been credited with the development of several national team players including Judah and Levi Garcia, his second elder brother. Levi currently plays for the Greek Super League 1 club AEK Athens, and also played in the Europa League qualifying matches with them earlier this season.
In the 2019-20 season, the winger made eight appearances for Point Fortin Civic in the TT Pro League, netting four goals in the process. An injury kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of their campaign and in September, he became a free agent. Judah Garcia will now feature in the I-League for NEROCA FC, who have roped him on a free transfer ahead of the competition.
Meanwhile, NEROCA FC are also in the process of executing a squad overhaul, having already completed a flurry of signings this summer. Apart from Nathaniel Garcia, the Manipuri side have already announced the signings of Varghese Jayan, Aryan Gupta, Varney Kallon, Jiteshwor Singh, Naorem Singh, Benjamin Lupheng and so on. Imran Khan (NorthEast United), Philip Adjah (Mohammedan SC), Zodingliana Ralte and Roshan Singh (both Gokulam Kerala) are some of the notable departures from their last season’s squad, as the club looks keen to make an impact in the I-League which is all set to begin on January 9, 2021.