Bordertown soccer prodigy to represent state team

PRODIGY: Bordertown youth and Naracoorte United fullback Aaryan Ghimire will represent the SA Under 16 Regional Boys State Team at the Singa Cup in Singapore next month.
PRODIGY: Bordertown youth and Naracoorte United fullback Aaryan Ghimire will represent the SA Under 16 Regional Boys State Team at the Singa Cup in Singapore next month.

In a region that is dominated by Australian rules football, the Tatiara rarely produces sporting talent outside of the "traditional" country sports.

It seems like times are changing, with Bordertown local Aaryan Ghimire being selected to represent the SA Under 16 Regional Boys State Team at the Singa Cup in Singapore from November 4-8.

The SingaCup is Asia's premier international youth football tournament, and showcases exciting football teams from Asia and abroad.

Aaryan said the competition is the largest youth soccer tournament, with academy players from a number of professional Asian football clubs.

Two Australian clubs will take part in the tournament, including Football Federation South Australia (FFSA) and Football West (WA football governing body).

It has been a massive journey for Aaryan, who can be called a late bloomer to soccer, after only starting the sport five years ago.

"I don't come from a soccer background - I started playing five years ago and it was more of a kick around with my dad for fun," Aaryan said.

"After a while I realised this was something that I could take further and potentially play at a higher level. I have been training hard to make state teams."

Aaryan started his rise up the soccer ladder approximately three years ago after he started playing with the now defunct Tatiara United Football Club.

"I started thinking about playing at a higher level three years ago when Bordertown had their Tatiara United team, so I started training with the team - I couldn't actually play because I was too young," Aaryan said.

"During that time I trained with them twice a week and trained with myself individually."

It has been hard work for the Naracoorte United fullback, with there being a number of selection camp rejections before eventually being selected to present the state.

"I went to selection camps and the first time I went to one I got cut straight away - I worked incredibly hard for the rest of that year," Aaryan said.

"Last year, I went back and I got selected to represent the Under 15 Boys Regional Team, and I had to go back this year to be selected for this year's tournament."

Aaryan has taken a large amount of pride making the cut for this year's tournament, after going through one of the largest trials he's experienced over his footballing journey.

"There's lots of kids who come in and go out of the team - I think this was one of the largest trials this year, with there being 50-60 kids selected in the first trial," Aaryan said.

With a number of highly talented players plying their trade in regional areas, Aaryan is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the 16 player squad to travel to Singapore next month.

The last two years of soccer have been beneficial for the Bordertown youth, as he's spent the last two seasons playing at an A grade level at Naracoorte United.

"One thing you realise when you do play at the higher grades it gets more faster, the speed of play is much faster and you've got to think quicker," Aaryan said.

"It really helps when you go back to play at your own age level, you tend to see things quicker than your other team mates do and it becomes easier to play."

When asked to describe himself as a player, he made it clear that his personality changes completely as soon as he crosses the white line.

"I am a quiet person, but when it comes to being on the pitch, I really like talking - I feel like when you talk players get scared of you," Aaryan said.

"My coaches have noticed that I am a quick and explosive player, and they like that I can quickly get on the break - I also like the team aspect of soccer."

As Aaryan continues to progress, there is no doubt captaincy at club level awaits the explosive fullback.

He expects next month's tournament to be tough, with match footage revealing the speed and agility of the many Asian teams they prepare to face.

With scouts attending the tournament as well, it could potentially be a massive first step towards a potential trial at a professional club, and life as full-time footballer.

The team will continue weekly training sessions in the lead up to the tournament, but Aaryan thanks all the support from sponsors and loved ones that has made his selection possible.