Boys from Municipal High School, Bankura, are hoping they will be ninth time lucky. For, this is the first time the TTIS Shootout veterans have made it to the finals of the five-a-side inter-school football tournament and they are eager not to break the success spell.
Joining the Bankura boys in the All Bengal Finals of the 9th Dabur Red Paste presents TTIS Shootout 2013 will be students from Sacred Heart School, Siliguri, also boasting a maiden entry to the final.
“Our boys are crazy about football and since this is the first time they will travel outside city to play in a tournament, they are very excited,” said Biru Sherpa, the football coach at Sacred Heart. “There are some talented players in the squad. I hope they make a mark.”
Kanchan Chakraborty, the physical education teacher at the Bankura school, is confident about his team.
“We have been taking part in the tournament since its inception. We finished runner-up in the district leg twice, but never reached the all-Bengal finals. The boys are determined to fight hard this time and make this opportunity count.”
Eight other schools — Green Park Siksha Sadan, Basudevpur Pally Hitaishini Higher Secondary School, Konnagar High School, Baksa BN Vidyalaya, Barasat, Salboni High School, West Midnapore, Krishnagar AV High School, Manindranagar High School, Behrampore and Asansol Collegiate School — from across Bengal are eyeing the seniors’ (classes VII-XII) crown. Last year’s champions, Naktala High School, has already been eliminated.
Sashanka Sekhar Bal, the physical education teacher at Konnagar High School, thinks the golden goal rule in the tournament is justified and will only make the matches more interesting.
“Since it’s a five-a-side tournament and the matches are being played on small grounds, it’s better to have the results before tie-breaker,” he said.
Railway Colony Junior High School won the all Bengal junior championship (till Class VI) of the tournament this year.