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 Vijay Alphonso  

A budding hockey player of tremendous promise

Vijay AlphonsoVijay Alphonso
- a striker for the Mumbai Customs hockey team - believes in giving his best to his team. There is always stiff competition in the super division league matches held at Mahindra stadium every year. 19-year-old Vijay forced his way into the Mumbai Customs team on the strength of his performances while representing Bombay Republican in the first division league matches played at Mahindra stadium in 1998.

Vijay grew up in an encouraging atmosphere. Hockey was a revered subject among his family, relatives and friends. His uncle, Weldon Miranda, had played for Tata Sports. Vijay's exploits in hockey date back to his school days at St. Blaise High School, Andheri. Later, while representing Bombay Republican his talent came to the fore. His decision to pursue his graduation (Bachelor of Arts) through correspondence, allowed him to play in tournaments.

Vijay reminisces about his match-winning performances against Punjab and Sind Academy while representing Mumbai in the semifinal of the Junior National Hockey Championships held in New Delhi in 1997. Trailing 0-2, Mumbai were in dire straits and on the brink of elimination when Vijay, changed the complexion of the game, with a couple of decisive forays inside opposition territory. He converted a penalty stroke in the 67th minute. Three minutes later , in the last minute of the gruelling contest, he scored with with a superb deflection to restore parity for his team. In sudden death, Mumbai snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to register a memorable victory.

Vijay admires India forward Gavin Ferreira. “ He is one of the Indian forwards who can fall back and help the defense in the hour of need. In addition to his intellectual approach to the game, he also has incredible speed and stamina ,” said Vijay. In his spare time, Vijay enjoys listening to the music of Shain Twain . Vijay wants to impress the national selectors with his hard work and score plenty of goals for Mumbai Customs in the forthcoming super division league matches to be played at Mahindra Stadium, in order to realise his ambition of playing for India.

By : Wasim Siddiqui



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