Newly-crowned champions Gokulam Kerala FC obtained a rousing reception once they landed in Kozhikode, Kerala on Monday with the coveted I-League trophy.
Kerala’s soccer passionate followers lastly acquired to glimpse the trophy – their maiden I-League title – when the squad arrived on the Calicut International Airport.
The I-League got here to a end on March 27, when three groups had been tied on the identical variety of factors on the prime of the desk – Gokulam Kerala FC, Churchill Brothers FC Goa, and TRAU FC.
Needing a win to make sure their maiden league title, the Malabarians got here again from a aim right down to defeat the Red Pythons 4-1. Despite the truth that Gokulam completed on the identical variety of factors with Churchill, who additionally picked up the three factors in their remaining match of the season towards RoundGlass Punjab, the previous had been topped champions by advantage of a greater head-to-head report.
Speaking in regards to the rapturous reception that the Malabarians acquired upon their arrival, Gokulam Kerala FC CEO Dr Ashok Kumar stated, “I’ve never seen anything like it. The closest thing I have seen to this was when the Indian Cricket Team would land in Chennai, after a successful tour in Australia.”
However, it has not been a simple season for the Malabarians, who had stumbled alongside their method in Phase I of the I-League, earlier than lastly selecting up the tempo in Phase II, the place they picked up 16 factors from a doable 18, to complete prime.
“It was always a building process for us. If you look at our squad, we have plenty of local players who have long contracts. It’s all about working with them, even when they make mistakes and keep on improving as a team, as a family,” stated Technical Director Bino George.
“It was the same case with us this season as well. Our technical staff constantly worked on the mistakes that we made in Phase I, so that by the time we were in Phase II, we were functioning like well-oiled machinery,” he continued. “We want to grow football both in Kerala and in India.”
With their maiden I-League win of the season, Gokulam Kerala have now sealed direct qualification for the 2022 AFC Cup Group Stage, topic to AFC Club Licensing.