MSSA: Ignored for football team, Julian aces tennis

Oct 15, 2014, 08:19 IST | Sundari Iyer

Julian Desouza used to play football at Rustomjee Cambridge International (Dahisar) till 2012. Little did he expect that his switch to Don Bosco (Borivli) would kill his football dreams. 

Don Bosco’s Julian Desouza in action at MSLTA yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

The 14-year-old though didn’t let that hamper his sporting dreams, and he started playing tennis instead. Yesterday, the unseeded Desouza beat Abheek Labroo of Smt Ramdevi Sobhraj Bajaj Arya Vidya Mandir (Juhu) 6-2 to enter the quarter-finals of the boys U-16 Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school tennis tournament at the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) courts.

Switch hit
“I switched to Don Bosco from Rustomjee International in 2012. I used to be a midfielder for my previous school. After getting admitted to Don Bosco, I realised that my current school’s football team had no place for me. That’s when I started playing tennis. Last year, I made a second round exit in the MSSA tournament,” said the Borivli resident.

The youngster credited his coach Palanivel Devendra for helping him make the switch so smoothly.

“I shifted to India from Africa in 2008. I used to love playing multiple sports like football, swimming and table tennis.

The moment I realised that I couldn’t make it to the school’s football team, I tried my hand at tennis. Palanivel sir made it easier for me. Now, I prefer playing tennis than football,” said the class IX student.

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