Real Kashmir FC have roped in former Indian international and Kashmir’s own Mehrajuddin Wadoo as the new head coach for the upcoming season. The 38-year-old replaces Scotsman David Robertson who was at the helm of the club from 2017 up until the end of the 2021-22 I-League season.
Robertson helped the club win promotion to the I-League becoming the first club from Kashmir to play in the I-League. The Snow Leopards fared fairly well in the I-League in their first three seasons besides winning the IFA Shield in 2020 and 2021. However, last season, they won only two games in the league and finished fifth out of six teams in the Relegation Round prompting the change from the RKFC management.
David’s stint at Real Kashmir was the subject of a documentary which won the BAFTA Award (Scotland) for Best Single Documentary in 2019. A sequel “Return to Real Kashmir FC” was also produced.
Born in Srinagar, as a player, Wadoo turned up for HAL, ITI, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal FC, Mohammedan SC, Salgaocar FC, Bharat FC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC in the I-League and FC Pune City, Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC in the ISL. The right back won the ISL with Chennaiyin FC in 2015 and retired from playing football in 2018. For the national team, he has been capped 32 times and has won the SAFF Championship and Nehru Cup twice.
As a coach, Mehrajuddin was in charge of U-18 team at FC Pune City following which he was Assistant Manager at Hyderabad FC. Last season, he was caretaker manager of Sudeva Delhi FC in the I-League.
Going into the new season of I-League which starts on November 12, the stakes are high for the A-Licence holder as this year’s league winners will get promoted to the ISL.
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