Game on for Real Kashmir

Real Kashmir have been given visas to play Stenhousemuir this weekend after their visa was initially refused. Pic Kashmir Monitor
Real Kashmir have been given visas to play Stenhousemuir this weekend after their visa was initially refused. Pic Kashmir Monitor

After a month of wrangling Real Kashmir FC, was finally given the go ahead to play their friendly matchwith Stenhousemuir today.

Kashmir’s premier football club will meet Stenhousemuir on Saturday, having already been forced to cancel plans with Albion Rovers and Hamilton Academicals under-20s.

The group, coached by ex-Rangers, Leeds and Aberdeen boss David Robertson, will also train with Rangers at a session in the Ibrox club’s Auchenhowie base.

With this, Real Kashmir FC will be the first club team from the valley to play on a foreign soil when they take on third-tier Scottish League club Stenhousemuir on July 08.

All excited, the 25-member team left for New Delhi on Monday, wherefrom they will fly out to Scotland on Wednesday. The team was flagged-off by J&K Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu, President J&K Football Association Zameer A Thakur, along with several other key members of the Association.

The visa approval came after high drama as the UK embassy had initially rejected giving the visa. However, the team resubmitted the application, which was positively received. Following it, the team management immediately thanked British High Commission on their official Twitter account. “#RealKashmirFC finally gets UK visa. Thank You everyone.... @UKinIndia,” RKFC tweeted immediately after the approval.

The link between coach Robertson and Stenhousemuir stems from the Warriors signing his son, Mason, last season. The player has since moved to Peterhead but Robertson, who has also coached in USA as well as Scotland, is bringing his team to Ochilview.

Robertson told The Falkirk Herald: “It will be a fantastic experience for the players and coaching staff. Many of which have never been outside Kashmir.

“It will be an valuable experience both on and off the field. We really are grateful for the Stenhousemuir board and Brown Ferguson for playing us as part of their pre season build up. The game was arranged after our owner flew to Scotland with me to organize the tour. We met with Brown and his board while my son Mason was training one evening and organized the game and also spoke of other possibilities with Stenhousemuir in the future.

“On the field it will be a real test for my players and one which they are looking forward to it. In Kashmir there are many talented players that unfortunately do not get the exposure they deserve. We are hoping to put Kashmir on the map of football and hope this will not be the last venture out club makes.

“This will be a life changing experience for everyone traveling to Scotland.