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'School students travelling abroad for matches grabbed my attention' - Gaurav Bora recalls what attracted him to football

Published at :May 10, 2024 at 4:49 PM
Modified at :May 10, 2024 at 4:49 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

JN Balraj

Gaurav Bora has captained NorthEast United in the Durand Cup.

Gaurav Bora is a well known name in the Indian football fraternity. Despite 25, he is much more experienced in professional football. The defender neither became an overnight star, nor was he an one-season wonder performer. Rather he rose from the ranks of youth football, had loan spells and eventually won the I-League being an integral commander on the pitch before plying his trade in the Indian Super League.  

The youngster made his ISL debut under Josep Gombau for Delhi Dynamos. Very soon he won the trust of the Spanish manager, and for the next season he was an indispensable part of the squad. 

Gombau once commented about him, “Gaurav can become one of the best central defenders. For that, he has to improve physically. He has good game-reading skills and is also good with the ball. I think he can go on to play for India.” 

The NorthEast United defender who was one of the captains of the side this season, shared his story in a recent social media post shared by the club.

The rise from nowhere

Kid Gaurav Bora started his football journey with his school team in CRPF Public School. He shared, “I was interested in football because the very first day in school, there were some players who were travelling abroad to play matches. That grabbed my attention.”

He played regularly in the school team and eventually went on to play for the Delhi state team. But, he looked at it as a profession only when he was selected for the renowned Pune FC Academy. 

He played for the youth team of FC Pune City when Pune FC got shut down. The breakthrough in his career came when he was loaned out to Chennai City FC to play in the I-League. 

“I played there for two seasons and won one I-League. After that I got a call for India U-23,” the defender recalled the moment when he first represented the tricolour.

After a three-season stint at Odisha FC, the defender shifted base to Guwahati in search of a bigger challenge and to prove himself. Bora’s life with the Highlanders started on a good note. He remembered being the captain in the Durand Cup, “It was a big responsibility, but it was a proud moment for me and my family. We reached the semi-final, unfortunately it did not go our way.”

Gaurav Bora’s contract expires this season, and he might extend his stay to prove himself. He shared a heartfelt message for the fans, “I’ll ask the fans to continue supporting the team. And to the club I wish the best, this will always be my home and I always love NorthEast United.”

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