Included in Group A, Kerala trying to host Santosh Trophy
Kozhikode: Kerala has been included in Group A in the final round of Santosh Trophy. The free scoring young team will face Delhi, Services, Jharkhand and Meghalaya.
Group A looks easy for Kerala. Only the match against Services is expected to be a difficult encounter while all the other teams look beatable. However, things will be much tougher for the young team in the following rounds as Group B features strong teams including West Bengal, Punjab, Goa and Karnataka besides hosts Mizoram.
Attack is the strength of Kerala. During the two qualifying matches at home, Kerala scored 11 goals without conceding. Last year, Kerala could not score and had failed to qualify for the tournament.
Kerala coach Bino George expressed happiness over the team’s performance. “Our attacking style paid dividends. We wanted to win by playing an entertaining brand of football at it was a huge success. We were able to execute our game plan very well. The qualifiers were a test for the players and they have passed it with flying colours. We will select the team for the final rounds after conducting training camps,” he added.
Tournament could come to Kerala
The Kerala Football Association (KFA) is trying to bring Santosh Trophy tournament to the state. Initially, the tournament was scheduled to be held in Mizoram in January. But the Khelo India Youth Games will be held in Guwahati at the same time. Hence the football tournament has been rescheduled.
KFA secretary P. Anil Kumar said that Kerala might be allowed to host the tournament. If Kerala is selected, Malappuram and Kozhikode will be considered as the venue.