Fighting spirit key to making it hat-trick of titles, affirms Gokulam head coach Richard Towa
Gokulam Kerala FC have been the I-League champions for the last two seasons. Can new coach Richard Towa lead them to a third?
Gokulam Kerala FC created history by becoming the first team ever to clinch back-to-back Hero I-League titles, after claiming the 2021-22 crown in fine fashion on the last day of the campaign. The team will be hungry to make it a hat-trick in the forthcoming 2022-23 season as the action returns to the traditional home-and-away format after a two-year wait.
Q. Welcome to India, coach! How has your experience been so far in the country? How was the adaptation process?
A. It's been a great experience in India so far. To be honest, life is absolutely different from where I come from, that is Germany and Cameroon, and the culture is quite different too. This is a good experience for me as I try to learn more about this country.
The environment here and around the club is great, and it is making the adaptation process easier. The club administration and team have made it very easy and it didn't take long for me to understand how we have to work here. I feel I have adapted myself really fast and well.
Q. The new I-League season is almost here. How have your preparations been going?
A. We have had enough time to prepare ourselves and I must say that the team is doing a great job. We are playing a lot of friendly games against both ISL and local teams as well, which has given us a great assessment of how things are going on and allowed us to establish the philosophy with which we want to play.
A. Yes, Gokulam Kerala are the double defending champions and we are determined to defend this title. We are working hard for it and know that it will not be easy. Every team will fight hard to stop us from making it three in a row and it will be a difficult responsibility. We are preparing for it vigourously and everybody at the club knows in their minds that we are ready to win the championship and defend our title.
Q. After two seasons, the team will finally get to play I-League matches in front of the fans. How much are you looking forward to having them? How important is the fans' role?
A. Playing in front of the fans is one of the most important motivations a player needs. We know that the fans expect more from me and the team, and we are preparing to make them happy with the type of football we want to play. We want to play attractive football and win.
Q. Your team's squad has undergone a number of changes as compared to the last season. What are your thoughts on the team and their potential style of play?
A. Many players from last season have departed the club and there have been a lot of changes. But, we will do our best to find the optimum players for each position and we are certain the squad has a lot of quality. They are doing well and have the potential to play and compete in the I-League. They are working hard for it.
Q. What are your expectations and targets for the coming season?
A. The expectation from the players, staff, and fans is to be together and fight together, and then we can expect the results to follow. I hope for a good fighting spirit from my players on and off the field and I am confident that when we do it, we can achieve our objective of finishing first in the league.