The Uttaranchal soccer team lifted the 51st National School Games under-14 Soccer title to end 2005 on a high note. Uttaranchal boys registered a title victory at a major tournament after a gap of 35 years. It will be recalled that in 1970, Gorkha Boys Company (Dehradun) had scripted its name on the glittering Subroto Mukherjee Cup.
The over three decade long wait for Uttaranchal football ended at Sonipat (Haryana). And the under-14 team of Uttaranchal mesmerised sports fans at the 51st edition of the National School Games with their skills. A total of 17 teams participated in this premier sports meet. Uttaranchal qualified for the quarterfinals after defeating Karnataka 3-0, Gujarat 3-0 and Rajasthan 6-0, while their league encounter with hosts Sports School (Rai) ended in a goalless draw.
In the quarterfinal, Uttaranchal thrashed Chattisgarh 6-0. Shankar Dobhal scored a hat trick (total four goals) in this memorable win. Continuing the excellent form in the semi final, Uttaranchal edged out defending champion Madhya Pradesh 3-0. The final saw the Uttaranchal lads defeating Delhi by a solitary goal. Gaurav Sharma scored the all-important decider in the first half. Commenting on the final match, Team Captain Jagdish Singh Kashniyal , "We alone are to be blamed for the bare 1-0 scoreline, as our team missed a number of chances. Shankar Dobhal and Gaurav Sharma proved the star strikers for the team. They scored five goals each in the tournament."
The Uttaranchal soccer team has won the National School Games for the first time. Incidentally, the under-14 team of the State gave an outstanding performance in the Subroto Cup 2005 but lost to Nobel Academy (Kathmandu), which ultimately lifted the cup, in the semi-final. As the year drew to a close, the Uttaranchal under-14 boys gladdened the hearts of football lovers by winning the prestigious National School Games soccer title. Six Uttaranchal boys are likely to be selected for the India camp. A good omen for football in Uttaranchal!
Jagdish Singh Kashniyal (Captain), Deepak Pandey, Pankaj Joshi, Shankar Dobhal, Dinesh Negi, Jaiveer Rawat, Rohit Negi, Gaurav Sharma, Nikhil Regmi, Natwar Bisht, Shankar Bisht, Mukesh Nautiyal (all from Maharana Pratap Sports College, Dehradun), Gaurav Kumar (Nainital), Akram Khan (Pithoragarh), Diwan Singh Bisht (Nainital), Abhilash Sharma (Dehradun), Subham Negi (Kotdwar) and Gaurav Verma (Pithoragarh).
Arvind Chaudhary (Manager), Gajpal Singh Negi (Coach), Manoj Bhartwal (Assistant Coach).