Super Cup 2018: Gokulam Kerala sign Macedonian midflieder Hristijan Denkovski
Asian (and Indian) footballers habitually look to head West in search of greener pastures, but here is an European midfielder who has chosen to do just the opposite. Not out of compulsion, but out of choice.
Denkovski has been brought into the Gokulam side keeping the Super Cup in mind, the qualifiers of which get underway on March 15.
Rejecting several offers from European-based clubs, Hristijan Denkovski has opted to sign up with one of the newest clubs in the Indian league. This follows news that the club has signed up Spaniard Fernando Andres Santiago Valera as head coach.
Shunning European offers for India move
The Macedonian is an attacking midfielder and has played in the Dutch under-19 Eredivisie. What is interesting is that Denkovski has made a conscious decision to move to India.
The player had multiple offers from other European clubs, but rejected them in favour of Gokulam, as he wanted to play in Asia, it has been learnt by Sportskeeda.
Hailing from Macedonia, he has played in the Spanish and Dutch leagues after starting his career at home in Skopje.
The 23-year-old Macedonian made his debut as a junior in the 2011-12 season with Cementarnica Skopje, a Macedonian club. He then moved to another Macedonian club, Rabotnicki in the city of Skopje in Macedonia.
Dutch and Spanish experience
The Macedonian midfielder also had a stint with NK Triglav in Slovenia before moving to the Netherlands.
FC Groningen was the first Dutch club Denkovski played in, before moving back home to FC Vardar for the 2016-17 season. He has also played for FC Pelister and Makedonija in Macedonia. This was followed by a move to Spain.
In 2017, Denkovski signed up for Club Deportivo Azuaga, playing in the Tercera Division in the Spanish League. He then moved to Club Deportivo Ferriolense in Spain.
He will bring with him the invaluable experience of having played in four different European countries.
Gokulam Kerala: Newbies and giant killers
The Kozhikode-based club, who play their home matches in the EMS Stadium have set their sights high.
Having made their debut in the I-League in the 2017-18 season, expectations were low. The club stunned their detractors and delighted their fans with victories over Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and eventual I-League champions Minerva Punjab.
The latest moves with regard to Spaniard Fernando Andres Santiago Valera and Denkovski display the ambitions of a new club that wants to move ahead at a rapid pace.