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I-League 2018-19: Daniel Addo wants to win I-League and 'make history' with Gokulam Kerala

05:07 SAST 2018/10/15
Daniel Addo Gokulam Kerala
Daniel Addo feels Gokulam Kerala can make history this season by winning the title...

Gokulam Kerala centre-back Daniel Addo landed in the city of Kozhikode in the hope of making a mark in Indian football.

The well-built, tall defender made 17 appearances, scored two goals and was a pillar in Gokulam Kerala's backline throughout the team's debut season in I-League

Addo is a thorough professional and there is a backstory that tells you how strong he is, both on and off the field. Despite his on-field success, the Ghanaian had a hard time in his personal life midway through last season when the demise of a person close to his heart put him in a spot of bother.

The team was going through a bad run of results but despite being allowed to return home, the player chose to stay back and help the club get back on track. He stayed loyal to the Malabarians and it came as no surprise that the club wanted him back for the new season. 

His commitment towards the club can be heard in his words. The defender is confident that the newly knit squad under Bino George can win the coveted league title this season. 

"Gokulam Kerala was a new club in the league when I arrived last season. So the expectation was to be in the league and not go down. 

"Now we are into the second season and we have changed some of our players. The players are here and everybody wants to win the league.

"We are here to work hard and achieve that. At Gokulam, we believe that when we work hard, we can achieve it. I just want to win the league, that is why we are here," Addo told Goal.

 The Malabarians ' squad underwent an overhaul in the summer. There were a lot of player departures and arrivals in the last few months but Addo is unconcerned. 

"(The change of players) is not difficult. The important thing is the coach's system and how the players fit into that. Everybody is fit for the system.

"I know the new players are good and I know we are going to make history this season," the defender exuded confidence when he spoke. 

A bad start to the season was what cost Gokulam Kerala a Super Cup play-off spot last time around and the defender is confident of righting the wrongs.

"We had a lot of injured players at the start of the season last year. And that pulled us back in the first half of the season. 

"Everything we are doing in pre-season is good. We have the winning mentality and I am not here to just get playing time."

Head coach Bino George had told Goal that the club has not found a replacement for striker Henry Kisekka who took the league by storm last season. The striker left for Mohun Bagan in the summer but Addo does not think the team will miss his services. 

"I am not the right person to say if we have managed to replace Henry Kisekka. I understand and I know that Henry is a good player. But when Henry came, we also had players who assisted him to be a good goalscorer. It is about everybody playing together."

The defender also spoke highly of Malayali coach Bino George whose work, particularly with the younger players in the squad, has been impressive. 

"Bino George is a good coach. Last season, many players were new to the league. He spoke to all the players and made us believe that we can achieve our target."