The Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) football season gets underway today — earlier than scheduled.
The association had sent a circular to all schools announcing that the season will start with the DSO-MSSA combined U-14 and U-17 knockout tournaments from July 26 and followed by the league. But in their last meeting held on Friday (July 13), MSSA changed its plan and decided to kick off the league today.
Don Bosco coach Leslie Machado was surprised at MSSA’s change of plans. “It came as a surprise when MSSA informed me during the meeting on Friday that we will play our first match on Monday against Campion. The circular that MSSA had sent to the schools earlier was different. Anyway, my boys are ready to make it count yet again,” Machado, who has been associated with the school team for more than two decades, told MiD DAY yesterday.
Cream of talent
Like in every season, the under-16 Elite Division I will be the first tournament where some of the top city schools will showcase their talent at Azad Maidan over the next six months. Champions Don Bosco, Matunga who won their third successive title last year, will be high on confidence and Campion School (Cooperage), who finished runners-up last year, would like to go one better. Bombay Scottish (Mahim), St Stanislaus (Bandra) and St Francis D’Assisi (Borivali) are the other title contenders.
Campion captain Parnamaya Joshi is confident that his team can win the title this year. “Since I’m in Class X, this is the last time I will be playing for the school. We want victory at all cost. This year, we started our practice in April. I’m confident that we can break the Bosco domination in MSSA,” he said.
Last year’s runners-up Campion School (Cooperage) coach Alex Wilfred Alva said: “We are prepared. During the vacation, we played some practice matches in Goa. But the team hasn’t played together after the school reopened due to the weather and players falling ill.
“We want to start this season on a winning note. There are four to five players who were in the team last year. We are confident of winning the title.”