The Malabarians begin their campaign against United SC in the Group D opener on December 6.

Gokulam Kerala FC team members and officials have left Kozhikode for Kolkata to participate in the IFA Shield to be held from December 6 onwards.

The team will continue their stay at Kolkata after the IFA Shield for I-League that starts in January second week.

The traveling squad consists of 25 players picked by Italian coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese during the pre-season camp held at Kozhikode.

This year three players from the Gokulam Kerala FC reserve squad got promoted in the senior team. Winger Thahir Zaman, defender Mohammed Jasim, forward Emil Benny have been promoted to the senior squad.

Thahir Zaman is from Koduvally in Kozhikode while Emil Benny hails from the Wayanad district. Mohammed Jasim is from Valancherry in Malappuram. In the pre-season camp, both the reserve team and the main team had trained together, and the three players were able to impress the Italian coach.

“IFA Shield is a prestigious, historic tournament. My focus is to win this tournament and prepare the team for I-League. We do our maximum game by game. We hope we can win the tournament,” said the coach.

“Like Durand Cup, IFA Shield is one of the prestigious tournaments in the country. We want to create history by winning the tournament and making Kerala proud again,” said VC Praveen, the president of Gokulam Kerala FC.

Gokulam Kerala FC play United SC in the Group ‘D’ opener on December 6.

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