Hibs striker Chris Dagnall admits today’s trip to Raith Rovers is a far cry from the fantasy football of India where he rubbed shoulders with World Cup winners and played before 70,000 supporters.
The 29-year-old is in line to make his debut in the Scottish Cup fourth round tie after joining the Leith outfit on a deal until the end of the season.
The surroundings of Stark’s Park, however, could not be anymore different to what he was used to during his three months in the searing heat of South Asia.
The former Leyton Orient marksman played alongside Spanish World Cup winner Carlos Marchena for Kerala Blasters, while the likes of Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos and Frenchman Nicolas Anelka were also involved in the Indian Super League.
But Dagnall admits he is just as keen to make his mark back in ‘normal’ football with Hibs.
Dagnall said: “India was brilliant. I enjoyed my three months over there.
“It’s a completely different style of football to anywhere else in the world. The fans were crazy, so passionate. If you went out in the street you’d be there for over an hour, everyone wants a selfie taken with you. And at our games we were getting 60,000 and 70,00 fans. They were just crazy. I’ve never experienced an atmosphere like our first home game.
“I went out a couple of hours before kick-off, as you do, to look at the pitch and the stadium was full – 60,000 with drums and it was like a carnival atmosphere.
“They also like their marquee players, their big names, and there was Roberto Carlos, Nicolas Anelka, John Arne Riise. My manager was Peter Taylor and our marquee players was Carlos Marchena, who won the World Cup and European Championships with Spain. There was Florent Malouda, Elano – there were a lot of big names.
“I do miss the weather – I’m not going to lie. We played our games in 70 degree heat over there and it’s not stopped raining since I got here two weeks ago.
“But it’s over now and I’m back to normal football.”