Gokulam Kerala aiming for the stars

Gokulam Kerala has set AFC Cup qualification as its target for the new I-League season.

Gokulam Gopalan, chairman of Gokulam Kerala FC, releasing the jersey of the team at an event held at Malabar Palace here on Saturday.   -  K. Ragesh

After a satisfactory maiden season in the I-League, Gokulam Kerala FC is aiming high. “Our target is to qualify for the AFC Cup,” the club's president V.C. Praveen said on Saturday.

A little later, the team's coach, Bino George went a step further: “We could do it,” he said.

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The mood was indeed upbeat as the club's chairman Gokulam Gopalan unveiled the team's jersey at a function in which skipper Mudde Musa also expressed optimism, with the first match just a week away.

Bino said he was encouraged by the way his boys played the second half of the I-League last season. “They were nervous initially, but improved drastically later on, to book a berth in the Super Cup, which had been my aim all along,” he said. “I am more confident this time around, because the bench is stronger.”

There were some challenges though, he pointed out. “The team was trained by another coach (Fernando Valera from Spain) for a few months before I came back in the job,” he said. “He trained the players for a pressing style. I have to get them back to the positional style.”

Donation towards flood relief

Gopalan said the entire amount from the ticket sales of the opening match – against Mohun Bagan at the Corporation Stadium on October 27 – will be donated towards the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund to help victims of the unprecedented floods that ravaged Kerala in August.

The team: Arnab Das Sharma, Shibin Raj, P.A. Ajmal, Daniel Addo, Fabricio Esten Ortiz, Monotosh Chaklader, Wugngayam Muirang, Jestin George, Abhishek Das, Deepak, Jishnu Balakrishnan, Mudde Musa, Muhammed Rashid, Arjun Jayaraj, Mayakannan, Bijesh Balan, S. Rajesh, V.P. Suhair, Rohit Mirza, Pritam Singh, Bodo, K. Salman, Antoni German, Gani Ahammed Nigam, Usman Ashik, Evgeniy Kochnev, Shahbas Saleel, Guilherme Castro and P.A. Nasar.



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