After winning the I-League in his debut season with Gokulam Kerala, head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese is eyeing an incredible opportunity. He could become the first foreign coach to win successive titles at this level.
Gokulam Kerala went on to win the I-League title for the first time in their history last season. They achieved the feat on the final day of the season after beating their closest challenger, TRAU. But now, the Italian head coach is looking forward to their next season and hoping to replicate their heroics.
Vincenzo Alberto Annese admitted on Saturday that the current batch of players for the upcoming season lacks experience at this level. However, Annese stressed that Gokulam Kerala are ready to defend their title, according to AIFF Media Team inputs.
“I would love to be the first foreign coach to win successive titles. But it will be difficult as we have a new and young team with lesser experience at this level than last time out. But we will try to win the title regardless.”
Gokulam Kerala coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese says, "The team is preparing well"
In the Durand Cup earlier this year, the Malabarians were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Mohammedan SC. They have since gone to Goa for a brief training camp and are currently playing the IFA Shield. Annese talked about the loss in the Durand Cup.
“The team is preparing well. The Durand Cup was good for us to test ourselves against different levels of teams. It has given us things to work on while attacking and defending,” said Vincenzo Alberto Annese.
Although the core group is very young, Gokulam have made some capable recruitments ahead of the I-League.
Speaking about his squad's young local players, Vincenzo Alberto Annese said:
“We have scouted and promoted a lot of players from our state league (Kerala Premier League) and this is important for us as it gives us squad depth.”
However, Annese agrees that the group of players that he has aren't the most experienced. He added:
“We will always work hard. We have a lot of new players in the squad and it is important for them to keep impressing all the time for the next generation of players.”