Don Bosco High School, Matunga have dominated the Mumbai Schools Sports Association U-16 Division I football competition for many years. But over the past three seasons, they have managed to lay their hands on the title by the thinnest of margins: a superior goal difference.
And the team that has suffered the heartbreak of finishing second on all three occasions is Campion School (Cooperage). They have run their famed opponents close, only to falter in the most cruelest manner. Nevertheless, Campion are determined to make amends this time around and win the much-coveted trophy.
They begin their campaign against St Anne’s School, Malad on July 22, and what’s heartening for the school is that they will be able to avail the services of three of their key players from last year’s side — Abhishek Agarwal, Aryan Sood and Shashank Agarwal.
Players like Alrich Fernandes, Danish Shaikh and Clint Pinto have been promoted from last year’s U-14 team while goalkeeper Kavish Mirpuri will make his Elite Division debut this season.
Meanwhile, Aniket Engineer, Nikhil Taachi, Rahil Sarvaiya, Arnav Vaid, Rohan and Rohan Sagradani are the players who have made it to the elite team from the school’s ‘B’ team.
However, players from last year’s side — Shlok Jain, goalkeeper Siddharth Shekhar, Raghav Goel, Yohaan Dastur, Pranamya Joshi, Fermin Braganza and Anurup Ojha will not be featuring this time round.
Skipper Abhishek is buoyant about his team’s prospects this season and is hoping that they will be able to end Bosco’s dominance. “It was very disappointing to come so close to the title and come second.
This is my last year in school and I want to pass out after winning the MSSA U-16 title. We will go all out and ensure that we break Bosco’s domination,” he told MiD DAY.
“We have never lost to Bosco in the last three years. I feel we ran out of luck often. We lost the title to them by a single-goal difference last year. I hope we are able to change it this time around,” added the 15-year-old midfielder.
Abhishek believes the lack of single-minded focus probably cost them the title in the past years. “Bosco practice throughout the year. But that’s not the case with us. We have other things to do apart from sport. This year we will focus and ensure we give our best.”
Meanwhile, striker Aryan said that any match with Bosco is a litmus test for their side. “Our on-field rivalry has been going on for some time now. Whenever we play Bosco, it’s a big match for us. On most occasions we ran out of luck and failed to score,” he said.