LoneStar Kashmir FC Head Coach Hilaai Rasool welcomes the home-away format of the 2nd Division League

LoneStar Kashmir FC begin their 2nd Division League campaign away from home in Mumbai as they take on Kenkre FC in the opening game of the Western Conference. After experiencing considerable amount of troubles with the venue, the All India Football Federation decided to hold the 2nd Division League in a home-away format.

The change has been received by Hilaai Rasool, the LoneStar Kahmir FC Head Coach by open arms, claiming it will give his club the opportunity to gain exposure of a different football cultures while also bringing some of the top Indian clubs to Kashmir. “The home-away format is a great move by the AIFF and I feel it gives an advantage to both the teams as they get to play in their home conditions. I feel it’s a great move for us as we get to travel to different places and also welcome some of the top Indian clubs like to Dempo to our part of the world,” said Rasool, speaking at the pre-match press conference yesterday.

Rasool however did concede that the new format might add to their expenses, but felt it would truly get Kashmir on the map of India football. “It is very expensive for us to travel to all these clubs, but I feel it’s in long terms interest of our club as we get to learn a lot from these clubs. The AIFF do offer a small support financially but isn’t enough. However it will give us a great chance to reach ourselves to the people of India,” added Rasool.

Mumbai won’t be kind to the Kashmir outfit in terms of weather and the humidity does take a lot out of the players. However Coach Rasool wasn’t too bothered about the conditions, given few of his players have had the experience of playing in Maharashtra before. “The conditions won’t be a big problem for us tomorrow I feel. We have few players who have already played here before and so I think we will be able to deal with it,” said the Kashmir FC gaffer as he dismissed talks on a big disadvantage for his team.

Rasool too like his opposite number would like to leave Cooperage with all three points despite playing away from home. “We would like to win the game of course. Playing away from home won’t be easy and there always be pressure. But in football there is always pressure and it is my job to take all of that and allow the players to play their game freely,” said the AFC Pro Licensed Coach.

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