Gokulam Kerala FC forward Rahul KP has seen several ups and downs in his life. But whenever he faced a difficult situation, he found support in football and his faith in the sport has never failed him.
The player, who rose from the academy setup of Gokulam Kerala FC, had humble beginnings and there were times when he travelled 10 kilometres on a bicycle to train alone. Despite the financial difficulties and adverse situations, he ambitiously embarked on his dreams.
Now GKFC have kept faith in its under-18 academy product as a new long-term contract has been agreed between the player and the club. "I am excited to sign the new contract. Last year was a memorable season for me. Our team played really well in all the tournaments it was a great learning curve for me. I want to achieve more with my club," said the 21-year-old from Kasargod in Kerala.
Rahul was promoted to the senior team from reserve team along with five other players last year. His debut was in the Durand Cup, which Malabarians won.
He also had substitute roles in Sheikh Kamal International Cup and also made his first debut in I-League against Mohun Bagan as a substitute. His dream start came against East Bengal and he had a stellar performance in the match with an assist.
"I am aiming to improve more. Last year training and playing along with the senior team, I was able to learn a lot. This year, it is a new coach. We have done only online sessions now but the whole squad has a lot of expectations this season to win the title. I want to help my team win the I-League," he said.
Being a Malabarian from his academy days onward, Rahul has fond memories of the club. "The club has made commendable improvement all these years. If there were no club like Gokulam, I would have ended my career like any other player. The club has several raw talents in its academy and youth setups. I believe like me they will also get a chance," he added.