Former India international footballer Renedy Singh is happy to see the revival of the prestigious Durand Cup this year in Kolkata.
The oldest tournament in Asia and the third oldest tournament in the world, Durand Cup was considered among the best competition in Indian football in the yesteryears. It lost its sheen in the past few years.
Speaking about the Durand, Renedy Singh told Goal, “Durand Cup was one of the best tournaments which we used to play. Before our generation and in our generation as well all the big teams like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal used to play the tournament.
“Even Tata Football Academy (TFA) used to play. When we were in TFA in 1995 we played the final against East Bengal which we lost. We had defeated Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. It was one of the most prestigious tournaments in India.”
Renedy believes that the revival of the Durand Cup will give an opportunity to the top clubs of the country to test their team in pre-season before the leagues commence.
He said, “In the last few years no one spoke about Durand. But now I think the Durand Cup can be a very good pre-season tournament for all the teams. All teams need practice matches before the season starts. Once the season starts it becomes very difficult to play the tournament. Everyone will concentrate on I-League and ISL. So after pre-season, every coach will get to see their players in this tournament before the leagues begin.”
For the first time in history, Durand Cup will be played in Kolkata and Renedy, who had plied his trade for several years in the city, termed it as a welcome move.
“It is good that it has come to Kolkata. It can happen anywhere in India but the most important thing is that the tournament is happening. Kolkata is the main place for football so it is good that it has come here. People can come and see their team play in numbers,” said the former Indian winger.