Marcus Joseph didn’t like football during his formative years. The Trinidadian preferred cricket until his family urged him to give football a try. “I started playing football when I was around eleven years old. Before that, I used to play cricket. I didn’t like football so much,” the Gokulam Kerala FC striker said.
“My family encouraged me to take up football. They told me, ‘you don’t know how good you are. You should go and play’. So I thought ‘I will go to train and see what happens’. I started to like it,” he said.
In his two months in India, the 27-year-old has demonstrated that he is a gifted footballer. He is the reason why Gokulam have avoided relegation.
The striker has been in red hot form since arriving. He has scored six in his last eight but Joseph is confident of adding to that tally when East Bengal play them in the final game of the season. “We are going up against a tough team. They are pretty good,” he said.
Gokulam had been in serious danger of being relegated this season and the club was in total disarray. Defeats became second nature, foreign players kept walking in and out, player morale kept going down which left an unsettled team without direction.
The arrival of Joseph in January gave the Kerala-based team a lifeline. Scoring on his debut, Joseph wasted no time shouldering the goalscoring burden of his ailing team. His most significant goal came against NEROCA FC in their last game where he scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win which ensured their safety. “I am a goalscorer and that is my style. I always look to score goals. My aim is to win games.”
What’s impressive is the swiftness with which Joseph has settled into his new club. “I haven’t felt any challenges because the coaches and the bosses have welcomed me. I am very comfortable and I don’t have any worries. My performance is not as good as it should be because this is my first season here. I have played less than half of the season so I am getting used to the league. I normally play much better than this.”
Gokulam have a history of signing quality strikers. Last season, it was Henry Kisseka who was later picked up by Mohun Bagan. Gokulam roped in former Queens Park Rangers and Kerala Blasters Antonio German, although he left midway through the this season owing to personal problems.
Joseph is the latest on that list of prolific strikers.“I will continue playing in India. I am being treated good and I feel nice. I will continue to play and do good things in Indian football.”Continue in the same vein and Gokulam may find it hard to keep prized asset.