Kozhikode, November 8: It has been just three years, Gokulam Kerala FC started plying their trade in the I-League but the club has already established residential academies in the state with clear player progression system to enable the players reach top level of the Indian football.
Gokulam’s under-15 and under-13 academies are in Edathanattukara in Palakkad while its under-18 team is training in Arapetta in Wayanad. About 100 players from across the state and the country are part of the current residential setup. Apart from the residential setup, Malabarians also have five football schools functioning in various districts.
“Our aim is to scout the best players and mould them into professionals. We have a clear progression system in our academies and no other professional club in the state can boast of such residential setup. I can proudly say we have the best academy setup in Kerala at present,” said Bino George, technical director of Gokulam Kerala FC.
“All the academies have proper ground, physiotherapist and AIFF-licensed coaches. This year eight players have been selected to state junior football team. Seven of them were part of the title-winning Malappuram team,” he said.
The coach says the club has a clear progression system from one age group to another. “From under-13 category, last year seven players progressed to under-15 team. From the under-18 academy, seven players were signed by the reserve team. From reserve team, already four players received call-up to the senior team,” he said.
“We try to implement our football philosophy in academies also and that is the reason why we were able to promote these many players from one age group to another. We are also planning to establish a centralised residential academy in Kozhikode’s outskirt so that we can expand more to the football-loving community there,” he added.