IWL winner Gokulam Women takes centrestage in I-League tie

Gokulam won the IWL a fortnight ago, beating KRYPHSA 3-2. The management felicitated the side during a men's I-League game in Kozhikode.

Members of the IWL-winning Gokulam Kerala team were felicitated during the I-League game between the Gokulam Men and Punjab FC.   -  Gokulam Kerala / Twitter

It was a night to cherish for the girls of Gokulam Kerala FC. A fortnight after winning this season of the Indian Women's League (IWL), the girls lifted their trophy once more, this time for the crowds at the Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode and in the presence of two former Indian captains, I.M Vijayan and U. Sharaf Ali.

Gokulam won the fourth edition of the IWL beating KRYPHSA 3-2 in a thrilling final. The management wanted to felicitate them before the home crowd and the occasion could not have been better - at half-time during the I-League match between the Gokulam boys and Punjab FC.

READ: IWL winner Gokulam Kerala FC to be honoured during I-League tie

“It was a great gesture by the Gokulam management and I don’t think anything like this happened before in Indian football,” Gokulam’s goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan told Sportstar. “I feel proud to have been part of this team.”

Speaking about parity in resources and management, captain Michel Castanha said, “We were given the best facilities.”

Looking back at Gokulam’s campaign at Bengaluru, coach P.V. Priya said the girls were determined to bring the title home. “In our first season, we were fifth, in the second we reached the semifinals, and in the third we became the champions,” she said. “Even when the scores were level 2-2 in the final, the girls were sure that they would win.”

The club’s president V.C. Praveen said Priya kept her word. “She had told me that the team would win the title this time,” he said. “Now I have given her another task. I told her that the Gokulam team for the next league should have at least eight players from Kerala.”

Former captain Vijayan called the side the pride of Kerala. “Gokulam’s management has done a great thing by investing in football,” he said.

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