Srinagar: Real Kashmir FC, the sole I-League team in J&K, has changed its head coach for the first time since it was founded, hiring former India international Mehraj ud Din Wadoo as the coach for the upcoming season.
Since its founding in 2016, David Robertson, a former Scottish international, has served as Real Kashmir FC’s head coach. Robertson achieved early success with the club by taking it from the second division to the I-League and placing third in their first I-League season, but he was unable to repeat those feats in the following seasons.
After the end of last season, the club parted ways with the Robertson. Now for the upcoming season, Club has appointed Kashmir’s well-known International footballer turned coach Mehraj ud Din Wadoo as the head coach of the team.
Though the club has not announced it officially the former India star has been taking daily training sessions for the team at Bakshi Stadium. The well-known name in the Indian football arena, Wadoo has also been busy in the transfer market for the club to form a strong unit for the upcoming season.
2022-23, I-League is expected to be held from October 2022 to March 2023. Real Kashmir FC would be playing its home matches at Bakshi Stadium and Synthetic Turf TRC Srinagar.
“It is done deal with club first time ever having a different coach since its formation. David Robertson was part of the club since its beginning but lately, his methods were not working as the team was unable to achieve the results that it wanted,” said a Real Kashmir official.
“It is a major achievement for Real Kashmir FC to rope in Mehraj ud Din Wadoo as its coach. Not only, Wadoo is a local Kashmiri but he has got a big reputation in the Indian football arena. Wadoo apart from having played for India has also played for almost all the big clubs of India. He is also reckoned highly in coaching arena of Country,” the official said.
Mehraj ud Din Wadoo who works as a coach in J&K Sports Council was last season’s coach of Sudeva FC in the I-League. Despite not being that big club and having well-known faces in it, Wadoo was able to make team a tough unit that did pretty well in the league.
“Wadoo is a qualified coach who after having retired stayed in touch with the football. He is aware about all the dynamics of the India and local football arena. His in-depth knowledge of local football is going to help the club a great deal,” the official said.
Mehraj ud Din Wadoo who hails from the Rainawari area of Srinagar has represented India 32 times. He scored the winning goal against Bangladesh in the SAFF Cup finals in Karachi in December 2005. He was also a member of the Indian squad that won the Nehru Cup in 2007, the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 and the Nehru Cup in 2009.
Apart from their International career, Wadoo has played for well-known clubs in the Country in I-League and then in Indian Super League.
A former footballer has termed the appointment of Wadoo as coach of the team as a major development.