Gaurav — new star in Nepali soccer

Kripa Sharma

Kathmandu, May 18:

Here is one name all football fans will be hearing a lot about in the coming days. Gaurav Thapa. Son of ANFA boss, Ganesh Thapa, has become a sought after name in sporting circles in the last few months. With deft moves and superb finishing skills, this lean 17-year-old has won countless hearts at Dasharath Stadium. Gaurav wants to be a professional football player in future, but studies remain his first priority. “I am not sure whether I would be able to complete the league, as I have to go back to India to submit my admission forms,” Gaurav told The Himalayan Times.

An alumini of St Georges School, Mussoorie, India, Gaurav is now planning to pursue his Bachelors from Delhi University. Hired by Jawalakhel Youth Club for Rs 60,000, Gaurav made his debut in the recently-concluded Khukuri Cup and is currently playing in the Martyrs’ Memorial Everest ‘A’ Division Football League for his club as a striker. He has so far scored two goals in six matches. “Hopefully, I will be able to continue football and studies together,” said Gaurav, who also revealed that he might join clubs in India while studying there. “But I won’t play for India. My heart beats for Nepal,” he added.

Gaurav took to the game at an early age. “I started playing football when I was in class one, and later joined All Nepal Football Academy (ANFA) Academy in 1998,” he said. When asked about the prospect of footballers and football in Nepal, Gaurav was confident that the situation would improve in the coming days and Nepal would be a force to reckon with in international circles. Gaurav’s mother, Hajuri, also wants her son to follow his father’s footsteps, but for her too, his studies come first. “Gaurav had always been crazy about football and the passion for the game has rubbed off from his dad.” “We have not imposed any pressure on him and have given the absolute freedom to choose what he wants to do in life,” added Hajuri. With supportive parents and exceptional talent, Gaurav Thapa seems well on way to becoming one of the brightest stars in the Nepali soccer horizon.