St Joseph’s U-14 football team are keen to get back their lost pride after the Wadala outfit was relegated to Division II in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) last year following an overage protest against a couple of their players.
Samad Patel of St Joseph, Wadala beats St Peter’s goalkeeper Avneesh Jadhav to score in the District Sports Office Under-14 knockout tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Yesterday, they began the season on a positive note by registering a 4-0 win over St Peter’s (Mazagaon) in the District Sports Office-organised Subroto Mukherjee boys U-14 knockout tournament at the MSSA Ground, Azad Maidan. Rohan, Samad score Rohan Howal and Samad Patel scored a brace each in the win.
Last year, eventual MSSA U-14 champions St Francis D’Assisi (Borivli) had lodged an overage protest against the Wadala school after being beaten by them 0-1 in the semi-finals. D’Assisi claimed that two St Joseph’s players Naresh Bohara and Silvester Serrao were overage.
Win after demotion
MSSA later demoted the team to the second division but clarified that it was not due to the presence of overage players but because one of the St Joseph’s players, Bijin Biju, had played three knockout matches without being registered with the schools sports body.
Now, though the St Joseph’s players are sad that they will not be a part of the elite division, they want to prove their worth at the MSSA tourney. “Last year when we got the news that our team was relegated, we were all depressed.
“There was also the fear that we would be scolded by our teachers and teased by our friends,” said 13-year-old Rohan, who scored in the 10th and 40th minutes yesterday.
Samad added: “Though it is disappointing that we have to play in Division II, we are motivated to fight back and ensure that our school is promoted to Division I and win back our lost pride,” said Samad who scored in the 20th and 26th minutes.
Bombay Scottish (Mahim) 6 (Siddharth Manchandani 2, Ayan Vazani 2, Pranay C, Nathan Fernandes) bt Sundatta High School (Grant Road) 0; Sacred Heart (Worli) 8 (Soham Narvekar 4, Sudhanshu Gaikwad 2, Mayuresh Shedmekhe, Daniel D'Souza) bt The New Era School (Grant Road) 0.