CLUB NEWS

July 25, 2020

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Watching Gokulam lifting Durand Cup gave me goosebumps: Muhammed Asif

Kozhikode, July 25: On August 24, when Malabarians were lifting prestigious Durand Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, a 22-year-old football player from Malappuram was on the stands, admiring the achievement of a club from his place.

Muhammed Asif still remembers that evening and nine months after the achievement the sturdy defender, who has played for Nepalese champion club Manang Marshyangdi, signed his contract for Gokulam Kerala FC.

“I watched both final and semifinal and it was so exciting. I was there to play in the Calcutta Football League and several of the Kolkata fans said Gokulam won their hearts with the performance. I felt proud to be from Kerala,” he said.

Like several of his contemporaries, Afsal is a product of the famed Malabar Special Police (MSP) football academy in Malappuram. “MSP shaped my football career and it was there when I met most of the players in Gokulam. After that I moved to Mar Baselios College under Bino coach. After that I played as a guest player for ONGC, Air India and also in Calcutta League,” he said.

It was during his stint at Calcutta League, he got call up from Nepalese club Manang Marshyangdi. “I was able to play AFC Cup. That gave me a good deal of confidence. It was a great experience playing there,” he said.

When Gokulam Kerala FC approached the player he had no second thoughts. “Gokulam is known for giving a chance for Kerala players. And most of the Kerala players in the squad are my friends. So I had no second thought. Also the prospect of winning trophies attracted me to the club,” he said.

Gokulam Kerala FC technical director Bino George believes Asif would add more value to the squad. “Asif is a player with good physique. His major strength is in aerial duels. He is also a player who can lead and motivate players. His signing a great value addition to the existing squad,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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