Sharif Mukhammad would be the new Gokulam Kerala skipper. The 31-year-old centre-back had a dream start to his career in India winning the I-League last season.
The Afghan international has been a key figure for the Malabarians last season. However, it would be a much more difficult tournament for them as many teams are prepping for the Durand Cup.
Gokulam are placed in Group D alongside ISL giants Hyderabad FC, Army Red and Assam Rifles. However, the club has adequate time for preparation as they play the opening match against Army Red on 12th September.
Afghan Sher Sharif Mukhammad – the new Captain for the defending Durand Cup champs Gokulam Kerala
Mukhammad joined the Kerala club from Maldivian giants Maziya FC. He was the perfect signing for the Southern side as he won the Dhivehi Premier League in Maldives a season ago.
However, he had one of his best season last season with the Malabarians in the I-League. In 14 appearances, he managed to find the back of the net four times. After his stints at Russia and Maldives, the new skipper is eager to win more trophies with his current club.
Additionally, the skipper was given a new role last season as a Defensive midfielder and performed the role well. Head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese won his first-ever trophy as a coach last season and Mukhammad was the main anchorman of his three-man midfield.
About his ambitions about the next season, he says,
“We have won I-league and we have made Kerala fans proud. We have shown everybody that we can play beautiful football. I know that it won’t be easy to defend titles. But we will play with the same aggressive and attacking style, and we won’t’ let our fans down this season.”
Gokulam are also the first club from Kerala to represent India for the upcoming AFC Cup next season. Hence, Mukhammad’s experience in playing in the competition during his stint at Maziya would be an added advantage for them.
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