BENGALURU , JUNE 01,
Scotsman David Robertson was an integral part of perhaps the greatest Rangers FC team ever assembled. Robertson featured in six of the club’s record nine-in-a-row Scottish Premier Division (SPD) title run in the 1990’s.
But for Robertson nothing tops his latest achievement — of coaching the unheralded Real Kashmir FC to the I-league second division title and thus gaining promotion to India’s top division.
The club from Jammu & Kashmir will be the first ever from the state to play in the I-League next year.
“I have been involved in a lot of things… winning trebles, leagues and playing in the Champions League,” said Robertson.
“But the feeling tonight is probably the best. The club has only been going on for less than two years. I know how much effort, time and finances have been put into the club. So it’s right up there.”
It’s something Robertson never expected when he started at Real Kashmir. It was a step into the unknown but he has come to enjoy the challenge.
“Before coming here, I thought every place in India was hot, but there was snow the second day I arrived in Kashmir. It felt like I was still in Scotland.”
Robertson dismissed concerns about unrest in the Kashmir Valley, and instead hoped that the club’s success would bring a positive image to the state.
“I’ve heard about the conflicts and curfews, but I can walk the streets without facing any trouble. Every afternoon, I take two-hour walks through Srinagar, and the people have been welcoming and gracious.”
“This victory means a lot for these guys and the people here. The club is so young.
“We got a group of players together only four months ago. Hardly played together. The secret was, they became a team. Even some of the guys who didn’t play. Just means so much. For us to be in the I-League next year is incredible!”
In 1992, Robertson was part of the Rangers FC team which clinched the domestic treble of League Cup, Scottish Cup and the SPD. The side also went on a 44-match unbeaten streak.
BENGALURU , JUNE 01,