Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

Root cause: In ancestral land,for the game he loves

English,Mauritian and Mauritian Creole are the main modes of communication in the tiny group of islands Sewram Gobin has grown up in.

English,Mauritian and Mauritian Creole are the main modes of communication in the tiny group of islands Sewram Gobin has grown up in. Here in India,he detests speaking in English and says he’s absolutely ‘cool’ with Hindi,having picked the language from Bollywood films.

Though traversing the Indian Ocean northwards hasn’t been that frequent,it’s the familial lineage that has brought the 26-year-old back to his ancestral land.

“In Mauritius,football was scrapped in all forms back in 1999,following a fight between two national clubs Fire Brigade and Scouts. It was restarted the next year,but since then it never caught up with the standards. That’s why I moved to India through my agent,” said the Pune FC striker.

Father Ganesh Gobin’s football interest ended with the absence of a professional club while brothers Jayram,Kabiraj and Sailesh continue kicking the ball for various Mauritian clubs.

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The Mauritian national striker’s Indian journey,however,hasn’t been a one-way traffic. Within months of a high-profile debut,he was on board a flight back home.

“He (Gobin) started with Mohun Bagan very happily last year. Everybody was pleased with his finishing touches,the most common flaw in Indian strikers. But with Bagan,he missed most of the matches making way to Bhaichung and Barreto. This had left him so disappointed that he went back home. Then after my move to Pune FC,I recommended his name to the officials. They were looking for a striker and thus it worked both ways,” Pune FC mid-fielder Shanmugam Venkatesh said.

As injury further worsened his chances of rubbing shoulders with the Indian captain or the Brazilian,playing for Pune FC meant a compromise. “I didn’t play a single match in the I-League. With Lalwampuia,Barreto and Bhaichung as first options,I could play only five matches,including the Kolkata League and IFA Shield.


“So,it was better to play here than sitting out for Mohun Bagan. But I’ve never played in a second-division team,even in Mauritius,” said the former Savannie SC player,former Mauritian league champions.

Since coming on loan to the Pune club in November,Friday’s match against Simla Youngs was the only miss. “He missed three-four genuine chances today,but mostly he scores as many. In the last nine matches,he’s scored nine goals. He’s a goal-getter. Today was just the first day,he’ll surely come back,” Pune FC manager B Ashok Kumar said.

Only a handful of Gobin’s fellow men in Mauritius have knowledge of his heroics though. “My club (Savannie FC) doesn’t know that I’m playing here. I avoided them because they’ve a thousand interrogations about my whereabouts. I just keep informing my family members,” said Gobin.

First published on: 07-03-2009 at 01:12 IST
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