Kashmir gives European flavour to the national football league of India, I-League; this is what Real Kashmir FC’s Scottish coach David Robertson believes.
On Tuesday, the first ever I-League match was played on Kashmir soil as home side Real Kashmir FC took on Churchill Brothers under the shadow of mighty Chinar trees surrounded by snow-clad mountains of Zaberwan range in Srinagar TRC Turf Ground. Adding to that the noise generated by passionate crowd who had come to see their football heroes playing against quality opponents was really giving it a flavour of European football leagues.
“Yesterday I had appealed people to come and support and they didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere, surroundings all was like any of the European league or my home club Celtic. It was amazing and gives a new flavour that is European flavour to the I-League,” Robertson said.
“To see crowd chanting names of the players is what makes it special. I hope with every passing game, more and more people would turn up,” he said.
About the game, he said, “Though I would have liked to end up with full six points but still the outcome is not too bad for us. If at the start of the league I would have been asked to take four points out of first two, I would have taken that on any day. This is good and we have more games to play at home and I hopeful of better results”.
“There was little injury scare with little muscle niggle. He cleared fitness test just before the game and did good for us,” he said.
Robertson was asked about the performance of his son Mason, who plays for Real Kashmir and he said, “He is experienced lad and has played in Latin America as well as back home in Scotland. I hope he keeps doing well and climb the ladder one by one”.
His opposite number, Romanian Petre Gigiu said that he was forced to go into defensive approach as they were reduced to 10-men.
“We wanted to get full points from the game but overall I am happy with the outcome. Initially we tried to be aggressive and match them in every move but the Red card changed everything. It was unexpected error and it changed everything. We were forced to change our strategy,” Gigiu said.
About Kashmir, he said, “The atmosphere was terrific and good for football. We didn’t get much to see as it was too cold to venture out. During all these days we mostly kept ourselves concentrated in hotel rooms. We will be now heading home