Suman Chakravorty: Gokulam Kerala has been one of the biggest surprise packages in Indian football this season. They have earned the tag of “Giant Killer” by defeating all big teams like Champion Minerva Punjab, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. Their latest has been the appointment of Brazilian legend and technical mastermind Luiz Greco, who has the rich experience of working across the globe, including teams like Brazilian Senior National Team, The U17 & U20 Brazil National team, Santos FC and Club Atletico Paranaense. He is now the new Technical consultant of Gokulam Kerala FC. Significantly, he also worked with Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan a decade back. In his first exclusive interview after joining the club, Greco revealed all his plans and views to www.xtratime.in journalist Suman Chakravorty. Here goes the interaction:
XT: Gokulam Kerala is the second club in India who will use your expertise. Are you excited on your return?
Greco: For sure, I believe on high potential of Kerala players and their football passion . Also, great support on Brazilian football in Kerala which makes me so happy.
XT: Calicut is a football crazy city. You came to play the Nagjee Trophy as well. What motivated you take up this new challenge?
Greco: It is a new club but I felt on their management a strong feeling to make a very different and consistent work as a future reference on Indian football. It is a lot of work to be done but I love challenges and I am so motivated for that.
XT: Gokulam has been new to Indian football. Roping on someone like you is a huge asset. What are your plans for them?
Greco: We will be working on several areas as infrastructure, training planning, international and national scouting, build up the club’s academy on its advisement for coaches and staff. Of course, it will be a long term working structured on all areas of the club.
XT: You have worked across the globe. Why India has always been so special to you?
Greco: I am so inspired on challenges, even I am almost 38 years involved with football. I strong believe on Indian growing potential football. It will be a great opportunity to give once more my contribution to its development.
XT: What do you think about the present structure of Indian football?
Greco: Present structure has been improved if you compare with the structure of 12 years ago when I came in the first time. New facilities on stadiums, new football academies, AIFF new leagues, especially youth, but, still, lots of work to be done with more focus on youth development.
XT: How much do you miss Mohun Bagan?
Greco: Mohun Bagan and its passionate supporters will have always a good souvenir on my life. Feel very proud to have given my contribution to the club, especially on youth players of MB academy who have been playing throughout India clubs.
XT: You have got remarkable success in promoting young players. What will be your plans for Gokulam’s youth development?
Greco: We will make great efforts on giving infrastructure to Gokulam Academy with high level capacitation to all staff involved. We will have continuous scouting in every place at Kerala state and organize all age groups to take part at regional and national youth leagues. It is my expertise and experience and based on my good background on Indian football, hope we can build up great generation of players.
XT: The low-budget I-League teams are doing wonders against the high-budget ISL teams. Your take?
Greco: Use of my expertise and experience on proper scouting not only on foreigners but also on Indian market and giving lots of focus on youth development at the club. A great youth development is a must at any club in the world.