Stanislaus claim MSSA ban inspired them
St Stanislaus 'A', Bandra midfielder Nathan Fernandes was over the moon after scoring the all-important goal in their 1-0 win over St Francis D'Assisi 'A', Borivli in the boys U-16 Div I tie of the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school football tournament at Azad Maidan on Saturday
The win was crucial considering it was the school’s first MSSA fixture after their U-12 hockey and U-14 football teams were recently banned by MSSA on disciplinary grounds. The supposed two-year bans were later revoked but not before a fine of Rs Rs 10,000 each was imposed on the U-12 hockey and U-14 football teams and the U-14 team was demoted from Div II to Div III. However, three of St Stanislaus’ coaches — Jubal Solomon, Hyacinth Cardoz and Trevor Fernandes — having been held responsible for the teams’ indiscipline, were banned by MSSA for the period of two years
It’s no wonder then that Saturday’s victory was special for the Bandra boys. “I am happy to have scored the winning goal in the season’s first match. I wouldn’t deny that MSSA’s decision to demote the U-14 team to a lower division was playing on our minds. But rather than getting demoralised by that, the ban inspired us to do even better,” Fernandes told MiD DAY.
One of the reasons for the ban on St Stanislaus, was their U-12 hockey team sporting black arm bands in protest of a decision last season. Defender Dermot Gracious admitted that was not the right thing to do. “I wouldn’t advise any team in the league to play with black arm-bands like our hockey team did last season,” said Gracious.
Stanislaus coach Roy Fernandes feared the ban would have a negative impact on his team. “The ban mentally shattered the boys and so, before the match I told them not to think about the incident and play their natural game. We could have won 3-0,” said the coach.