Hoping to continue their fairytale, Real Kashmir FC have bolstered their line-up by signing some “top foreign players” as they wait excitedly for the I-League to enter the valley for the first time.
The promoted team is set to become an I-League host from their fourth home match and the administration has assured the club full cooperation.
A source close to the club said they have signed some top players from Nigeria, Zambia and Ivory Coast as well as Scotland although names are not yet out. The team has also hired the services of a few established players from India such as Dharamraj Ravanan, Surchandra Singh and Nadong Bhutia.
“Preparations are on in full swing in Srinagar as Kashmir FC gets ready to rub shoulders with the top Indian football clubs,” RKFC owners Sandeep Chattoo and Shamim Meraj said in statement.
The duo added that the club is not leaving any stone turned to perform and cause a few upsets in the country’s premier league.
“We don’t want our fairytale to end. Our coach David Robertson has assembled a good squad that has experience as well as youth. Currently, we are training in Srinagar and soon we will head out for a 10-day pre-season. Now that we are playing at home we are sure that we will not let our supporters down.”
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the I-League’s top officials recently travelled to the Jammu and Kashmir capital to see the venue’s preparedness, and they came back impressed, saying there are also plans to install floodlights.
The 11th edition of the I-League will start in the last week of October.
RKFC said that some top brands have already associated themselves with the team.
Real Kashmir FC won the second Division I-League after beating Hindustan FC 3-2 in the final and became the first club from Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the top-tier of Indian football.
They started their pre-season training from September 1 in Srinagar and are set to travel to Mumbai and then Scotland in the later stages of their preparations.
While the players exceeded expectations, the coach too played a huge role in the club’s historic promotion.
Robertson is a Scottish football legend having played for and won several league titles with Rangers in the 90s.