Gokulam Kerala are all set to rope in 35-year-old Italian manager Vincenzo Alberto Annese as their new head coach for the upcoming season, Goal can confirm.
The Malabarians had recently parted ways with their Spanish coach Fernando Santiago Varela and Annese, a UEFA Pro License holder, is all set to replace him at the club.
Varela had a mixed season last year. It started with a magnificent Durand Cup triumph, Gokulam’s first-ever national trophy, in Kolkata beating ohun Bagan. Unfortunately, the team faltered in the SK. Kamal International tournament in Dhaka and then failed to make a mark in the I-League.
Annese had a very brief career as a footballer which lasted for just five years. At just the age of 26 in 2010, he joined Italian third division club S.S. Fidelis Andria 1928’s youth team. After managing the youth team for two years, he was promoted as the head coach of the senior team in 2012.
In 2013 he moved to another Serie C club Foggia Calcio where he served as their head coach for a year before heading to Estonian side Paide Linnameeskond. From 2015 to 2016, he was in charge of the Armenia U19 side.
The young coach also has the experience of managing in Africa and Asia. In 2017, for a very brief period he was the head coach of Ghanaian Premier League club Bechem United FC.
Annese’s Asian sojourn includes stints with Palestinian club Ahli Al-Khaleel and Indonesian side PSIS Semarang. His last assignment was with the Belize national football team, a member of the CONCACAF.
When Goal contacted Gokulam Kerala President V.C.Praveen about the development regarding their head coach, he chose not to confirm or deny the same.
Gokulam Kerala will hope that the new coach will guide them to their maiden I-League title in a campaign that will be held in Kolkata.