Grads bid adieu with high hopes - Emotion overlaps with joy

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  • Published 28.03.08

Jamshedpur, March 28: S. Naveen Kumar, the dashing stopper, was candid enough to concede that he would miss the coaches, kitchen staff and the groundsmen after bidding goodbye to the Tata Football Academy (TFA).

It was also a general sentiment of his colleagues, who lined up for the VIIth convocation at Centre for Excellence this afternoon.

Kumar, who was called on stage to give a feedback of their stay at the academy, said: “We were very shy and lacked in confidence when we joined the TFA four years ago. But we also felt pride in wearing the jersey of the academy. We were overwhelmed by the affection shown by the authorities. We are thankful to Tata Steel and Tata Steel Sports Foundation.”

Seventeen cadets — Rino Anto, Avijit Ghosh, Bineesh TB, Branco Vincent Cardozo, Cheeradeep Chattopadhya, Goutam Kujur, Hiralal Chattri, Karan Atwal, Khangembam Jibon Singh, Lalramluaha, Mumtaz Akhtar, Rakesh Masih, S. Henry Gangte, S. Malsawmkima, S. Murlidharen, S. Naveen Kumar and Sushil Kisku — were handed over graduation certificates by sports minister Bandhu Tirkey. Anto was adjudged as the best gentleman cadet.

Partha Sengupta, the vice-president (corporate services) of Tata Steel, Sanjeeva Singh, thpe chief of Tata Steel sports and TFA, Satish Pillai and Sanjay Choudhry and senior functionaries of the company were also present.

Thirteen cadets, who graduated today, have represented the country’s under-19 outfit. Last year, they played 33 matches (including exhibition ties) and won 24 out of them, in the process losing six and drawing three.

All the graduating cadets have joined prominent soccer clubs of the country on contract. While eight will be donning Mohun Bagan jersey, five will be playing for East Bengal.