Having been selected to play for St Francis D’Assisi ‘A’ at coach Gokul Kanchan’s insistence, Kamlesh Sonawane, 14, made his coach proud. Kamlesh scored on debut in their 3-0 win over Bombay Scottish, Mahim in an U-16 Div I inter-school tie of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) football league at Azad Maidan yesterday. Danny John scored the other goals.
With John putting D’Assisi ahead in the sixth minute, Kamlesh bolstered the lead in the 32nd minute with an accurate header from close. John sealed the fate in the 46th minute.
After the win, Kamlesh made no hesitation in crediting coach Kanchan for his success.
“I’m happy to have scored a goal in my first ever MSSA match. It’s just been three weeks that I have joined this school. I hope there are many more to follow. I thank Gokul sir for having faith in me and allowing me to be part of the squad. I hope I can live up to the expectations,” said Kamlesh.
The 14-year-old recalled how he first fell in love with football: “Earlier, I was in a boarding school at Vasai where I used to watch older boys play. Thereafter, I started playing with friends, but never thought I would ever represent my school,” added Kamlesh, who lost his father at the age of seven. His mother works at RC Church in Colaba.
The debutant’s performance even took teammate Danny by surprise. “Nobody expected Kamlesh to score on debut. He has just joined this year and got a chance to play in the first division. I’m surprised by his performance,” said Danny.
Boys U-16, Division I: St Dominic Savio (Andheri) 2 (Nikhil Pal, Sherwin Quadros) bt St Joseph (Wadala) 0; St Francis D’Assisi ‘A’ (Borivali) 3 (Danny John 2, Kamlesh Sonawane) bt Bombay Scottish ‘A’ (Mahim) (0); Don Bosco (Matunga) 0 drew with Campion School (Cooperage) 0.