Stenhousemuir host Real Kashmir in pre-season friendly

Real Kashmir FC will play a pre-season friendly at Stenhousemuir (pic by Irfan Malik)
Real Kashmir FC will play a pre-season friendly at Stenhousemuir (pic by Irfan Malik)
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History will be made at Ochilview next month when Stenhousemuir host a pre-season friendly against Indian side Real Kashmir FC.

The match, on Saturday, July 8, will be the first ever played on foreign soil by a team from the Kashmir region.

Young Real Kashmir fans show their support (pic by Irfan Malik).

Young Real Kashmir fans show their support (pic by Irfan Malik).

The fixture was arranged through former Rangers and Aberdeen star David Robertson who was appointed Real Kashmir’s head coach in January.

His son Mason had a spell with the Warriors last season.

The Indian Second Division side only started last year and is owned by Shamim Meraj, editor of the Kashmir Monitor newspaper.

A former footballer himself, he started the club as a way of giving something to the youth of the area following the floods which devastated Kashmir in 2014.

Action from a Real Kashmir match  (pic by Irfan Malik).

Action from a Real Kashmir match (pic by Irfan Malik).

In their first season in the I-League Real Kashmir just missed the promotion play offs on goal difference.

But in just 12 months the club has become the largest football system in Kashmir.

They boast a senior team, an under 18, under 16, under 14 and even an under 10 squad and are in the process of opening more academies in every district of Kashmir.

Mr Meraj told Heraldsport: “It is a very young squad with the oldest team member being only 25.

Real Kashmir FC supporters ceehr on their side.  (pic by Irfan Malik)

Real Kashmir FC supporters ceehr on their side. (pic by Irfan Malik)

“Almost all players are from Kashmir and have grown up post the outbreak of violence in 1990.

“It will be for the first time that a team from Kashmir will play on foreign soil and despite the holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast, the squad is training hard under Robbo.

“We hope to play and prove a point in Scotland.”

Celebrations after a Real Kashmir win  (pic by Irfan Malik).

Celebrations after a Real Kashmir win (pic by Irfan Malik).