Kolkata- A historic IFA Shield triumph in December boosting their confidence, Real Kashmir FC begin their quest for I-League silverware with a match against Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU), here on Sunday.
Real Kashmir FC clinched their maiden major trophy by lifting the IFA Shield after beating George Telegraph 2-1 in the summit clash last December, though the 127-year-old tournament was held without some of the country's top sides.
RKFC head coach David Robertson said the success in the IFA Shield has given his players added motivation to do well in the I-League.
"We are fortunate to get some competitive games in the IFA Shield before we play in the I-League. It is important to win every game. If you start the season on a winning note, it gives you a lot of confidence in the later stage," Robertson said.
"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 I-League means finishing in the top half of the table.
Head coach Nandakumar Singh said, "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, "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."
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