Srinagar, Nov 03: Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) is gearing up to face Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC (TRAU FC) on Saturday at TRC Ground in Srinagar after their victorious start to the I League 2023-2024 season against Rajasthan United Football Club.
The kick-off time for the upcoming match has been shifted to 3 pm at the fans' request.
During a pre-match press conference, RKFC's head coach, Ishfaq Ahmad, expressed the team's high morale following their win against Rajasthan United FC. He acknowledged the strength of their upcoming opponents, TRAU, and emphasized the need to be prepared despite having the home advantage.
“We know TRAU has a good side and they had a good match against Delhi FC. We had a positive start and we expect a good match on Saturday. Although the home team always has an advantage but we can’t take TRAU FC lightly we know they have a good side,” Ishfaq said.
Ishfaq said the players are putting their 100 percent effort to win matches. “We have many more foreign players who will be joining us soon and further strengthening our team,” he said.
He also praised the local players for their performance in the I-League matches and stressed RKFC's commitment to promoting local talent within the club. He mentioned the club's intention to have more Kashmiri players in the squad. This season, RKFC has maximum local talent.
RKFC has a seven-year history in the I League, offering a significant platform for local players to showcase their talents and gain exposure to the top football leagues in the country, he said.
He highlighted the success of six Kashmiri players in the previous match and expressed the club's aspiration for more Kashmiris to excel in front of their local fans. Additionally, he pointed out the opportunity the I League provides for fans to watch live matches in the region, and the ongoing improvements in football infrastructure.
Ishfaq acknowledged that fitness was a concern due to the limited pre-season preparation for foreign players but believed that their fitness would improve with more game time.
While briefing the media, TRAU FC's head coach, L Nandakumar Singh, recognized RKFC as a formidable opponent, especially on their home turf, and stated that his team was well-prepared for the challenge.
“They have always performed well, especially on home ground. But we are equally prepared to defeat the home team,” he added.