SSESA Independence Day Football 2015

The annual SSESA Independence day inter-Jesuit alumni football tournament was held at St. Stanislaus High School back ground on 15-August 2015. The schools flag hoisting and singing of the national anthem commenced at 7.45am. The football tournament began at 10.30am.

This year’s tournament was poignant as we remembered JAAB (Jesuit Alumni Associations of Bombay Province) Secretary Mr. Vikram Mavinkurve of Campion Mumbai and St. Xavier’s College Mumbai. The parents of Vikram had instituted the Vikram Mavinkurve fair play tournament and the tournament this year was held in memory of Vikram.

This year’s tournament was bigger and better with teams from St. Xavier’s Nashik, St. Xavier’s College, St. Mary’s ICSE, St. Mary’s SSC, Holy Family, Andheri and hosts St. Stanislaus Ex-students Association. Some of the teams fielded two teams which made for interesting football. Friendships were renewed off field but on field the rivalry was intense where alumni played hard but fair football.

A MUST READ write up by Shyam B about the Mary’s boys doing what they do best!!!


Place: St Stanislaus School Ground, Bandra

Date: 15 August 2015, 10.00 am

It’s the Day of the Independence Day Inter Alumni Football Tournament that has become a tradition of sorts over the years. Initiated by a casual phone call, the tournament started off about 15 years ago as a friendly Football match between Ex Marians and Ex Stanislautians with an understanding that we would get the Beer and they would get the Biryani. An Old Trophy used to be dug out from somewhere and handed over to the winning Team (Usually the St Marys Team, I am happy to say) at the end of the game. This was usually followed by a swim in the St Stan Swimming Pool and then of course the Beer ‘n’ Biryani accompanied by ribald jokes, raucous laughter and the feeling of contentment of a morning well spent with old friends and the memories from our School Days…. a time of carefree innocence and joy.

Over the years, the casual friendly match has now gradually grown into a much larger event where 9 Teams from 7 Jesuit Schools (including the St Xavier’s Team from Nasik) now battle it out for the Trophy, which I may add, is no longer a Dusty Old Relic, but rather, a Glistening Crystal Trophy prepared specially for the Event.

We, St Marians have always been the most enthusiastic participants, with usually 30-40 Ex-Students turning up to participate and play for 2 Teams (A &B). So as I walked into the Ground at 10am I was expecting a huge contingent of Ex- Marians joking and laughing as usual. However, this year, quite contrary to the usual scenario, there was no sign of the Marians at all. No guffawing laughter… not a sign of the familiar Black and Orange Alumni Football Colours … “Where are these guys?? “ I thought to myself with just a hint of panic creeping into my thoughts.

And then, far away, hidden in the crowd, I caught a flashing glimpse of Black and Orange… just a quick glimpse, and it was gone, like a Tiger disappearing into the forest… but it was enough for a seasoned Marian like myself… that was without doubt our St Marys Alumni Football Jersey.

I quickly headed towards it, pushing my way through the 8 other Soccer teams thronging the grounds. I finally arrived at my destination to a sight that brought mixed feeling of joy and despair. It was a St Marian Jersey alright… but our present team consisted of, literally, “2 ½ Men” … Alain, Connan and Connan’s 3 year old baby. Just then, Jerry from the St Stan Organising Committee came up to me and said “Shyam you Guys are ready right, your match is coming up”.

My already reeling head reeled a little more and I had visions of the St Mary’s Team on the Field, with Alain as Striker, Connell playing Mid-Field, myself, Tottering and Over Weight playing Defence and finally Connan’s 3 year old in the Goal.

But we Marians are made of sterner stuff than that. Quickly pulling myself together, I told Jerry that we would be playing only 1 Team today and that we are giving a walk over with Team A (which was to play the first match) and that we will play the Team B match as per the Draw. That thankfully gave us 45 minutes more to get our Team together.

And then…we got down to the serious business of making the phone calls. Strangely everyone said that they were just “10 minute” away. Fifteen minutes passed… no new arrivals… another round of frantic phone calls followed…. everyone, it seems, was still just 10 minutes away !!!

And then finally… finally the Sun peeped out from behind the gloomy clouds… a St Marian walked in… and then slowly but surely the Sun continued its journey out from behind the clouds. One by one… we got our team together… with Karan and Dhiren Durante making it just 2 minutes before our Team finally walked out onto the field at 11.00 for our first match.

After a slightly tentative start, the St Marian Football Team really got into the groove… humming along like a well-oiled machine… steam rolling everyone in its path like an unstoppable Tsunami. Every member playing like he had never stepped off the field in the last 15 years… Claude, brilliant in the Goal, Connell and Dhiren and Jas impregnable in Defence, the 2 Hussains and Mikhail solid in the Mid Field, creating brilliant plays for the sparkling forwards Karan, Alain, and Selig who scored the goals to get us ahead. Karan was undoubtedly the Star of the Day, scoring 4 scintillating goals… literally running circles around the opposition to score some brilliant goals which gave our team the breaks when we needed them.

And so the Marian Juggernaut continued to role forward leaving in its wake some celebrated teams from the previous year like last year’s winner St Mary’s (SSC), St Stan and St Xaviers. And so finally after some brilliant Football, some loud cheering of “ Marys Marys Mary … ISC” which left myself, Rosario and Rishi sounding like sinister versions of “The Godfather”… the Final Whistle of the Day was finally blown and St Marys (ISC) were again crowned Inter Jesuit Alumni Football Champions.

Our players also won some other awards… Claude Won “Goal Keeper of the Day” and our Star, Karan was awarded the “Player of the Tournament”

My thanks to all the Players and Supporters who stood up to be counted on the Day when St Marian honour was at stake. From the bottom of my Heart… Thank you. Their names are:

Karan, Dhiren, Alain, Connan, Selig, Mikhail, Hussain Merchant, Hussain Vahanvathy, Jaspreet, Claude, Rishi and finally Rosario without whom we would never had the wonderful photos.

Thanks also to the Alumni Association of St Stanislaus for taking the trouble to organise such a fantastic event.

And so another wonderful day of Football and St Marian memories came to an end with once again St Marys at the top in spite of all the odds being against us. Like they say… “You might knock a Marian down… but you can never, ever keep him down”. Our Alma Mater has built into us a spirit of Loyalty, Courage, Integrity, Honesty, the Perseverance to keep fighting for our Goals and finally the Humility to accept our victories with gratitude.

Thank you our Dear St Mary’s for making us what we are and for the wonderful memories and life-long friends that you have given to each one of us.
Cheers and God Bless,
Shyam Balsekar (Batch of 1984)

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