The Italian replaces Santiago Varela at the helm of the Malabarians.

Gokulam Kerala have brought in Italian manager Vicenzo Annese as their manager for the 2020-21 I-League season as they start preparations for the campaign, which will get started towards the end of 2020.

Annese also had five-year stint as a professional football player. He started his career at then Serie A club Venezia FC and has played in three other Italian clubs. In 2010, Annese had his first job as a manager at Italy Serie C (third division) club AS Andria Bat Young.

After a three-year coaching period at the club, he moved to Latvian First Division club Saldus FK in 2014. Later he joined Estonia Premier League club Paide L. FK as assistant coach.

During 2015 season he managed Armenia Under-19 national team before moving to Ghana Premier League club Bechem United FC. At Bechem United, he helped the club qualify for Confederation of African Football club competition for the first time.

The 35-year-old is a relatively young coach but has almost a decade of coaching experience and holds an UEFA Pro License. Annese enjoyed his biggest success managing in Ghana for Bechem United FC, where he had a 59% win-rate in the only campaign he managed the side for.

He then also managed Palestinian top-flight club Ahli al-Khaleel in the 2016-17 season, winning 12 of the 21 games he was in charge for them. The most recent venture of Vincenzo Annese was as the manager of the Belize national football team, for whom he was only in charge for seven games before deciding on a venture to India.

“I am delighted to be part of GKFC family. My aim is to make the fans happy and make them dream big. I have already seen how GKFC have played last season and I believe the squad can achieve a lot,” said Vincenzo Alberto Annese.

“The coach brings considerable international experience to the club. He is young and has already accomplished several achievements. He is the most experience coach we had so far. We believe that he would be able to bring more trophies and glory to Kerala,” said Gokulam Gopalan, the chairman of Gokulam Kerala FC.

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Vincenzo Annese not only boasts managerial qualifications but has also worked as a physical education teacher as well as a technical coach for junior teams in the past. He also has prior experience or working as a coach for several reputed Italian youth academies, meaning he has a sound knowledge on how to get the best out of talented young players at Gokulam Kerala.

Vincenzo Annese will replace Fernando Santiago Varela at Gokulam Kerala after the Spaniard helped the Malabarians to a top five finish in the I-League in the 2019-20 season as well as helping them win the esteemed Durand Cup.

The Malabarians have already signed a host of talented young players for the next season, including former NEROCA FC winger Ronald Singh and TRAU FC goalkeeper Shayan Roy. With his experience in dealing with young talent, Vincenzo Annese will be aiming to maximize the potential of this Gokulam Kerala squad, make them play attractive football and lead them to their first-ever I-League title in the upcoming campaign.

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