After a disappointing start to the season Gokulam Kerala FC turned around with a vengeance beating the likes of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Minerva Punjab FC in consecutive matches to double their points tally.
Coach Bino George attributes “the desire to prove” as the reason behind their success. “The desire to prove oneself is a prime reason for our success. Our team showed that desire to fight and win and we simply did. You can call that the magic formula if you want to,” he said.
Having collected just four points from their first 9 games, Gokulam Kerala FC have added 16 more in their next seven games, with 10 of them coming in the last four itself.
This rich vein of form is no flash in the pan says the coach. “Our team has some players who have no previous experience of playing in the I-League. They were a bit overwhelmed and took some time to settle down,” he added.
“What you have seen in the second half of the season is what they are truly capable of. They have a fire in their bellies and the will to prove that Gokulam Kerala FC is a team to be taken seriously.”
With young Indian players forming the core of the team, they have also proved that one doesn’t need to depend on big names and foreign recruits alone for success.
“Kerala didn’t have a platform for many years. Now they do it in the I-League for the local talent to flourish,” Bino stated. “I want more players to come up through Gokulam Kerala FC and hopefully go on to play for the National team. That’s my ultimate aim.”
Apart from the local players, another Indian caught the eye with his performances – the 22-year old Kivi Zhimomi from Nagaland. “He is a great talent. He is certainly an inspiration back in his state and I’m sure he has great things ahead of him in the future,” the gaffer quipped.
“He is still young and has a lot of scope for improvement. I hope we have more players following his footsteps from Nagaland. As long as football spreads its wings in India, I’m happy.”