NorthEast United FC is returning to their home at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on October 13 after more than 2.5 years. Supporters’ club Highlander Brigade is all geared up for the emotional homecoming as the team plays their first match in front of home fans after a gap of 960 days.
On October 13, NorthEast United will take on Hyderabad FC in their second match of the Indian Super League (ISL) season. The Highlanders lost to Bengaluru FC 0-1 in their opening match after a controversial decision by the match officials “robbed” the team of a well-deserved draw.
Preparing for the home game, members of the Highlander Brigade have been making posters and tifos, besides ensuring that people know about the homecoming and book their seat at the stadium.
Interestingly, the Abhayapuri Railway Station in Bongaigaon district of Assam has become the ‘drawing board’ as a huge tifo is being made at the railway station premises for display at the stadium on match day. “We are working tirelessly to complete the huge tifo. Three parts of the same are being prepared at Abhayapuri railway station. We are super excited to welcome the team as they play their first home game after two seasons,” said Siva Sharma, one of the core members of the Highlander Brigade.
Late night hustles, love for NorthEast United FC, and Highlander Brigade.
— Highlander Brigade (@HighlanderB8) September 25, 2022
Sharma added that they required a huge area with proper lights – and were thankful to the railway authorities who allowed them to use the station premises to prepare the banner. The banner will cover an area of more than 6000 sq feet – which will be showcased at the South East Stand of the stadium during the match.
“This is one of the largest such banners being displayed at the Indian Super League. There will be three parts of 55 feet by 25 feet while another part will be 6 feet by 100 feet. The tifo is being made by the Highlander Brigade with financial contributions from its own members. It will depict the story of Northeast,” Sharma added without revealing much on the message of the tifo.
Poster making sessions were also organised at SMH Hostel Basketball Court, Cotton University since last two days where the Highlander Brigade ensembled their gear for the match.
Apart from the tifo, the supporters’ group is gearing up with chants, slogans and messages for the team.
In the ISL, NorthEast United FC last played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium at Sarusajai in Guwahati on February 25, 2020 when the Highlanders were held to a 2-2 draw by Chennaiyin FC.
A third-string NEUFC took part in the Durand Cup 2022 playing their all matches at the Sarusajai Stadium.