The Kerala outfit's recent acquisition of experienced goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar from Sudeva FC is an indication that they want to have a serious go at defending the title
The 44-year-old who was currently serving as the Technical Director of Gokulam shocked everybody by announcing that he was leaving the club.
The base price of the jersey has been set at Rs 15,000, but given the history attached to it, there will be a lot of takers for this special piece of souvenir.
Manipur-based club Neroca FC had finished at the bottom of the table in the last I-League.
Even the mighty Kerala Police spearheaded by the likes of IM Vijayan and VP Sathyan hadn't won a league title at the national level but Annese backed himself to help Gokulam win the elusive I-League
With the Indian Women's League, Inaugural Futsal Championship and I-League 2nd Division qualifiers set to follow, the authorities are planning for a challenging few months ahead.
"I would actually like to invite the coach (Stimac) to come and see us because there are a lot of quality players in the I-League," said Annese
Gokulam are in a three-way race for the title alongside TRAU and Churchill and trail the two teams with just two games remaining in the play-offs.
With the win, the Red Machines have also secured themselves a top-six spot in the first phase of the I-League.
Chennai City made five changes to their starting XI after the loss against TRAU in their previous match, bringing in Vladimir Molerovic, Suhail Pasha, Nagappan, Jishnu and Jockson Dhas.
A Jiteshwor Singh's own goal, strikes by Philip Adjah and Jestin Geroge and Mohammad Sharif's penalty were enough to hand the Malabarians three points and put them in the top half of the standings.
As the new I-League season gets underway, the two teams will be hoping to have a final say on where the trophy goes at the end of the season.
The qualifiers only had five teams and was a 25-day affair while the I-League will be played among 11 teams for over 100 days. The teams have been divided across two 5-star hotels.
All the players and staff of Gokulam have tested negative in the Covid-19 tests conducted in the past three weeks.
Gokulam Kerala FC face off against neighbours Chennai City FC in their opening clash of the new season on January 9 in Kalyani.