Kozhikode: Gokulam Kerala FC face United Sports Club in the 123 rd IFA Shield Football Tournament opener at Kalyani Stadium on Sunday.  

Gokulam Kerala FC are in Group ‘D’ along with United Sports Club and BSS Sporting Club and are all set to start their season on a high note.

“This is our first match in the season. I want my team to win the match. After long time, we are going to play matches. We had only friendly matches against each other. So tomorrow will be a bit strange for everybody,” said GKFC Head Coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese.

The team had reached Kolkata on December 3 and have entered the Covid_19 safety bubble at the team hotel. The team has been training at Salt Lake training ground since then.

“The training is going on smoothly. We are preparing well with fitness trainer Garcia. We will do our best to win the three points from the match. We believe in hard and group work. We have to perform as a team then we will be able to win the match,” he added.

IFA Shield would be Malabarians’ first tournament this season. The team will play its second match against BSS Sporting Club on December 12. The team will continue at Kolkata to take part in the I-League to be held in January.

“The tournament will be a good platform for us to prepare for I-League. Moreover, participating in a historic tournament like IFA Shield is a honor for us,” he said.

Gokulam Kerala have registered 24 players for the IFA Shield. The tournament regulations permit to register only three foreigners. As a result, Afghan international Sharif Mukhammod will not be registered for the tournament.

There are ten Kerala players in Gokulam Kerala FC squad. This three players, Thahir Zaman, Emil Benny and Mohammed Jasim, have been promoted from the reserve squad.


Goalkeepers : CK Ubaid, Vigneshwaran Bhaskaran, PA Ajmal

Defenders: Rowilson Rodrigues, Deepak Devrani, Mohammed Jasim, Jestin George, Naocha Singh, Zodingliana, Sebastian, Ashok Singh, Awal Mohammed

Midfielders: Muhammed Rashid, Shibil Muhammed, Muthu Irulandi Mayakkannan,Salman Kalliyath, Vincy Barretto, Thahir Zaman, MS Jithin

Forwards: Emil Benny, Saliou Guindo, Dennis Antwi Agyare, Ronald Singh, Lalromawia