We are planning to create an academy in Varanasi: Carlos Santamarina

Keshava VermaKeshava Verma

September 14 2023

Carlos Santamarina also spoke on the club’s preparations for the season.

Merely two and a half months since their inception as Uttar Pradesh’s first professional football club, Inter Kashi have caught eyes with their interesting collaborations and strategic planning.

The new-born club is all set to feature in the I-League this season, and have greatly executed the initial steps, and have a strong base to build upon. With recruitment of experienced head coach Jose Santamarina and incredible facilities at their disposal – courtesy of their partnership with Atletico Madrid – Inter Kashi are surely a club to look out for ahead of the new season.

Before the commencement of the new season, Inter Kashi head coach Jose Santamarina, and star player Arindam Bhattacharya spoke to the media in a roundtable conference. Here are the major talking points from the conversation.

Carlos and Arindam on Atletico’s strategy with Inter Kashi

Atletico Madrid have yet again established a link with Indian football, and this time through the establishment of a fresh entity named Inter Kashi. The Spanish giants, who have had tieups with other Indian clubs like ATK and Jamshedpur, have established a successful market here in Indian football, and have also taken a number of steps for the constant development and growth of the sport in the nation. 

Here is what Carlos had to say regarding Atletico’s strategy and main objectives with Inter Kashi.

“For Atletico de Madrid, India has always been a strategic market because it is a huge country and football is growing very fast day by day so during these years we have seen a lot of talents and we must be here working with the coaches and these boys and try to help Indian football.”

Arindam also added his thoughts on the matter, and said, “For us players, it is all about professionalism and the treatment we get and the training, the pitch and everything and at least one thing that is sure with Atletico Madrid is that we are getting good facilities to train upon. That really helps us grow as sportsmen and players and that’s what we are looking for.”

Arindam on his aims for the upcoming season

One of Inter Kashi’s biggest signings of their first-ever season, was the incoming of veteran indian shotstopper Arindam Bhattacharya, who after several years in the ISL, is back into I-League football, and this time with an even bigger responsibility on his broad shoulders.

“For the season, I think as a new team we need to grow day by day and I think we are doing very good. We have to win every game. We are taking one game at a time. We have just played two precision friendlies and I think we have done decent and with a good coach and a good coaching staff and with decent mixture of young boys and senior boys, I think we are going to shape up very well,” he said.

Carlos on Inter Kashi’s academy setup

During the interaction with the media, Carlos Santamarina made it very clear that Inter Kashi have a vision of setting up their own academy, and that the club along with the technical support of Atletico Madrid will take major steps towards a proper grassroot setup, starting from Varanasi.

“This first season, we didn’t have time because we are working in record time for making the team, training with the team because the season is starting in a few days. But when the season starts, we will start working from Madrid and here as well, thinking about the next step which is working with the youth. We are planning to create one academy in Varanasi and we have to think on the strategy but of course Atletico Madrid will provide technical support and coaches that Inter Kashi need for creating a very good academy,” he asserted.

“We’ll arrange trials for youngsters. We want to have a good academy and work with kids from five years old, with all Atletico Madrid support and Indian as well as Spanish coaches,” he added.

Carlos Santamarina on his squad

With the new I-League season starting in about a month’s time, Carlos shared his thoughts on the squad Inter Kashi have so far assembled. He mentioned, “The team is growing day by day. We are working hard and are having training sessions in morning and afternoon, as well as friendly games. We need time but we will try hard. We want to achieve our goals but like (Diego) Simeone says, we work day by day, game by game.”

Expectations from this season

Carlos Santamarina also made his ‘realistic’ thoughts know, as to what he expects from this upcoming season.

“Realistically we know it is difficult, but we will try and work day by day. I think we have a strong squad with the foreigners and with good Indian players. We started late but we have made a strong team so for sure we will fight and we will never give up till the end,” he said.

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