Rising soccer star scores well in Birmingham

Venkat Raman

Fourteen-year-old Arzan Todywalla created yet another soccer record last month.

The Pakuranga College student played three matches for Birmingham City Football Club (BCFC) helping the side win all of them.

Arzan scored a goal each in two matches, one as a striker and the other as a mid-fileder, much to the delight of his mates, coaches, supporters and the crowd.

Impressive wins

Rising soccer star- Arzan strikes with amazing speedHe played two matches on behalf of BCFC at its training ground on August 27. The Club won against Leicester City 3-1 and against Chesterfield Football Club at which his ‘amazing speed’ brought Arzan to midfield.

The laudable aspect of the engagement was that he played all the games with the 15th Grade Team, one above his age.

The Club had invited the teenager for a three-week special training in August 2015, following on his successful debut last year (Indian Newslink, December 15, 2014).

Thirty hours of travel through several time zones did not fatigue Arzan, because when it comes to Soccer, he is known to forego food and sleep, although his parents Viraf and Pearl Todywalla ensure that he get enough of both. They sacrifice their weekends to take their son to various locations around the greater Auckland region where Arzan plays while throughout the week they ensure that he does well in his studies.

Fencibles support

Fencibles AFC to which Arzan is affiliated, sponsored the trip, encouraging the young man to offer his best soccer skills and bring home some fame.

“We are grateful to Fencibles AFC and others who took interest in Arzan and funded our travel cost. It was an exciting opportunity for Arzan and I am confident that with expert coaching and encouragement, he will continue to do well in the sport,” Mr Todywalla told this newspaper.

Arzan said that he was grateful to Fencibles AFC, coaches Justine Green and Roger Wilkinson and to Steve Aken of ‘First Cloud’ for sponsoring his visit to Birmingham.

“I am extremely grateful to my parents as well,” he said.

This was his second trip to Birmingham in as many years.

First Kiwi Indian

Arzan was arguably the first New Zealander Indian to make it to Birmingham, which has the distinction of having established the world’s first football league in 1888.

The Coaches were so impressed by Arzan’s skills that they selected him to play for the Under 14 Birmingham City Club Team in Birmingham and later in Derby. This was again a grade above his age at that time.

Awed but keeping his cool, the youngster went through the amazing experience and later received yet another reward: a tour of the world-famous Manchester United Museum and the Old Trafford Stadium.

As they prepared to leave, BCC Coach Sam Wilkson told Mr Todywalla, “We would be happy to sign Arzan to play for our Club if he had a British Passport or permanent residence in the United Kingdom.

“We will however explore other options in our report to Fencibles AFC,” he said.

During their stay in England, the father and son took time off to travel to London where they visited a number of tourist attractions including the Buckingham Palace, the Big Ben, London Eye and the 200-years-old Madame Tussauds.

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