“My philosophy is to win each game”, says Gokulam Kerala Head Coach Vincenzo Alberto Annesse on ‘Durand Talks’ ahead of 130th Durand Cup

KOLKATA, August 28, 2020: For I-League winning Head Coach Vincenzo Alberto Annesse, anything short of one-hundred percent is not enough. Surrounding the 36-year-old Italian from Bury is an aura of confidence, expectation and intensity – all put together to culminate in a progressive, exciting brand of football which fans of the Malabarians have now come to expect of their team. Speaking ahead of the 130th Durand Cup on the tournament’s own talk show titled “Durand Talks”, Coach Vincenzo speaks on the importance of the tournament, his side’s preparations ahead of the curtain raiser, what we can expect of them, and more.

Expectations have never been higher for Gokulam Kerala – now the reigning I-League Champions and also the current Durand Cup holders. With great accomplishments come greater challenges and that is exactly what Gokulam will have to deal with this season, if they are to scale greater heights. The I-League winners have qualified for the AFC Cup group stages this year, thus making them the first club from Kerala to participate in continental football. Naturally, expectations are sky high.  

Coach Vincenzo sees the upcoming Durand Cup as the perfect platform for him to prepare his entire squad for their fast-approaching I-League and AFC Cup endeavours.

“We know very well that preparation for this season will be hard, because we have a lot of expectations. Especially for AFC Cup which we will be playing this year. We start the season with Durand, which will be good preparation for the I-League campaign. It will provide a good opportunity to establish good chemistry between our players”, he said during the show.

Preparations for the new season have been difficult for Gokulam in an unprecedented way, owing to the pandemic and second-wave situation in India. The coach weighed in on how his side have made the best out of a very bad situation.

“We started on 2nd August. We have been playing friendly games with local teams. There is a lot of talent over here in Kerala, it also gives us an opportunity to watch other players, and also to help us field a good team tactically in preparation for the season”, he said.

He also gave an insight into how ‘virtual training’ has been for his side. He added, “We are coming back after five months. Players weren’t able to work out properly during this time. The COVID situation in India was so bad for the last four-five months.

“We have tried to maintain fitness via video call, group calls. We have been in consultation with Prof Garcia – our physical coach to maintain a regime for our fitness at a high level. We also did some tactical exercise. Day by day we have been trying to improve ourselves but first, most important for me is the physical aspect. Because 4-5 months without football isn’t easy.

“First of all, it is important to reach a good physical condition. In this kind of preparation, it is important to not get injured. Tactical aspects are secondary in that regard. For now, everything is going well.”

The Durand Cup commences on 5th September, but Gokulam won’t be playing their first game until 12th September. They have been drawn into Group D alongside Hyderabad FC, Assam Rifles and Army Red Football Team. Speaking on what we can expect of Gokulam, Vincenzo smiled with his usual confident demeanour and said, “We will see a lot of goals.  If you watch our games, you will see we always score goals. I am very emotional on the bench. I don’t play for a draw. I will love for us to score a lot of goals (in the tournament). In the I-League last season, we scored 31 goals with 10 different goal scorers.”

The core of this Gokulam Kerala side has changed drastically since their maiden Durand Cup win. As a matter of fact, only 11 players remain from Gokulam’s I-League winning squad from last year. The Durand Cup presents Coach Vincenzo with the perfect setting to try and experiment a few combinations.

Can they repeat their success? The answer was straightforward and expected: “I believe we can win this trophy again.”

The Durand Cup returns for its 130th edition on Sunday, September 5 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK).



For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: All you need to know about Regional Premier League

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

OSCAR SSE to conduct trials for Youth I League and YPL team in the U13 category in Mumbai

Mumbai-based OSCAR SSE will conduct trials for their Youth I League and YPL team on 16th and 17th July 2022 at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star…


ROQS to host trials for MFA Super Division

ROQS is revamping their squad for the upcoming season of the MFA Super Division. The team is organising trials for the men’s football team on Monday, 11th of July, 2022….


MSP Academy is holding trials for the upcoming MFA Youth League

MFA Super Division club Mumbai Soccer Prodigies will be conducting trials for their MFA Youth League campaign on 22nd May 2022 in Bandra, Mumbai. Founded in 2006, the Mumbai Soccer…


Football School of India to conduct Youth Trials

Mumbai-based Football School of India is going to conduct youth trials for its boys and girls squads. The trials will be conducted for players in the age group of under-13…


Bengaluru FC Elite Youth Football Trials

Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL) and are past champions of the I-League and ISL. The club has launched its Soccer…


D’Souza Football Academy to conduct Youth Trials

Mumbai-based D’Souza Football Academy is going to conduct football scholarship trials for its youth squads. The trials will be conducted for players in the age group of under-7 to under-15….


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for Youth I-League in U13, U15&U18 category in Mumbai

OSCAR SSE, an AIFF Accredited Academy invites all  U13, U15 & U18  players from ALL SOCIO-ECONOMIC  backgrounds for football trials to join our Elite teams to train round the year…


Air India to conduct senior team trials for MFA Elite League on Monday

Mumbai-based Air India FC is set to conduct trials for their Senior Team to play the MFA Elite (Corporate) Division. One of the top-tier clubs from Mumbai – Air India…


Air India to hold youth team trials on Monday

Mumbai-based Air India FC is set to conduct trials for their Youth Team for the MFA Super (Corporate) Division. One of the top-tier clubs from Mumbai – Air India will…


Bhaichung Bhutia’s Residential Academy set to conduct trials in Mumbai

16th March, 2022: Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools (BBFS) will conduct Residential Academy trials in Maharashtra for the academic year 2022-23.  In the next few months, the trials will be organized…