AIFF Media Team

KOLKATA: After winning the IFA Shield in December 2020, Real Kashmir FC have put their name into the fray of title challengers for the upcoming Hero I-League 2020-21, which kicks off today. In their quest to fight for the silverware, the Snow Leopards start their season by locking horns against Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) tomorrow (January 10, 2021) at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The kick-off is slated for 2 PM IST and the match will be broadcasted on 1sports and live-streamed on the 1Sports Facebook page.

Speaking at the official pre-match press conference, RKFC Head Coach David Robertson said, “We are fortunate to get some competitive games in the IFA Shield before we play in the Hero I-League and the success in the IFA Shield has given the players added motivation to perform in the field.”

“It is important to win every game. Every game counts in this new format and if you start the season on a winning note, it gives you a lot of confidence in the later stages of the season.”

“We have got a mix of experience and young players and everyone is ready and raring to go. We know the season will be challenging but we are ready for it,” he added.

Real Kashmir’s new recruit and prolific forward Dipanada Dicka said, “We are hopeful of a win tomorrow. TRAU are a good team and it will be a good match against them. We have worked a lot in training and are confident of a win.”

For TRAU, a good season in the Hero I-League means finishing in the top half of the table. Head Coach Nandakumar Singh opined, “Tomorrow is a tough challenge for us as Real Kashmir have a very good team. We know that they are dangerous in attack and we will do our best to get a good result.”

“We have worked hard over the last couple of days and we are ready to go. Our aim for the Hero I-League is to finish in the top half of the table. We will take one match at a time as we go along in the season,” he added.

Skipper Konsam Phalguni said, “I am very excited to play tomorrow and am looking forward to the start of the season. It will be a challenge for our team as Real Kashmir are one of the title challengers but we will give our best come tomorrow.”