Not Just Any Other Bosco
Mumbai: Pre-game huddles almost always involve warcries invoking a victory. But when Don Bosco (Borivali) locked arms before their Ahmed Sailor Knock Out Tournament pre-quarterfinal game against St Xavier’s (Parle) at the Azad Maidan on
Thursday, they silently fell back on a list of reasons why they must win this encounter.
For starters, they were up against the same opponents who had knocked them out a week ago in the District Sports Office (DSO) tournament. That apart, they didn’t have a coach. But most importantly, the boys from Borivali were fed up of living in the shadow of their more illustrious sister-concern school in Matunga that has been dominating the school footballing scene for some time now.
Spreading out and discussing the three-point agenda proved to be the ideal injection as Bosco put on a fantastic display to win 2-0 and make the quarters.
Striker Gaurav Nagarkatti turned up for the crunch tie with a smart brace but denied himself a deserved hat-trick when he fluffed a penalty late in the game. “There was so much going through our head when we got to know we had drawn St Xavier’s in the pre-quarters. It was our only chance for revenge and I’m glad we rose to the occasion,” said the 14-year-old who is in his last year at school.
The school, also in the quarterfinal of the MSSA Division II tournament, has been without a coach all season which makes their progress all the more commendable. Ask him if it gets frustrating when Don Bosco, Matunga, hog all the limelight, the lad just smiles. “When people see ‘Don Bosco’ printed on our backs, their eyes light up. But once they realize we are the Borivali team and not the Matunga team, all the appreciation is taken back. It can get frustrating but we are here to change that,” he says.
Gaurav had been instrumental in his school’s rise to Division I in the under-14 category last season and should they make the final at the MSSA tourney, Bosco will be elevated to top division in the under-16 category too. Coming from a family of doctors, Gaurav admits that he too will have to take the MBBS route to life after school. “I know I won’t be able to handle the game and academics and the latter may soon become just a hobby. I’m just making the best of it while it lasts,” he says.
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