After 31 years, Dominic Savio can do it again, says 1987 captain Wilfred Alva

Updated: Aug 15, 2018, 10:21 IST | Gordon D'Costa |

The Andheri school had beaten St Francis D'Assisi HS (Borivli) 1-0 in the concluding league match to emerge champions way back in 1987

Skipper Wilfred Alva (encircled) with his MSSA under-16 Division I champion team Dominic Savio in 1987
Skipper Wilfred Alva (encircled) with his MSSA under-16 Division I champion team Dominic Savio in 1987

After 31 years, Dominic Savio (Andheri) will be featuring in the Division I final of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school football tournament. The Andheri school had beaten St Francis D'Assisi HS (Borivli) 1-0 in the concluding league match to emerge champions way back in 1987.

And Wilfred Alva, 49, who was the captain of that team and scorer of the crucial winner off a direct free-kick in the second half, is confident his former school will emerge triumphant once again. "They are a good side and can win this one. I hope they do," Alva, who is currently coaching Campion HS told mid-day yesterday, going on to recall that brilliant 1987 season.

Wilfred Alva
Wilfred Alva

"Our team comprised mostly of boarders and we had a good coach in Samraj sir of Western Railway. He guided us well and was responsible for our success," said Alva proudly. The competition was a lot tougher back then too, felt Alva. "Back then, there ware at least three to four contenders. Teams like Don Bosco [Matunga] and St Mary's were a lot stronger.

We used a leather ball and it was difficult to kick it around after it got wet in the rain. That was a much longer league too — 12 teams, so each team played 11 matches. Now, there are 16 teams spread across four pools, so each team gets a minimum of only three games," added Alva, who is probably the only one man in the MSSA's 126-year history to have won the U-16 title both as player and coach (he coached Campion to the title in 2015). "I will be bringing my wife and children to the MSSA ground to support
Dominic Savio in the final," he signed off.

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