Image Credits: FISTO STAFF
Archana Arumugam is a 17-year-old shot stopper who is currently playing for Sethu FC in the Hero Indian Women’s League.
Archana Arumugam is a tall and commanding young goalkeeper. Archana has featured many games for her club and has also featured for the Indian National team. Archana’s abilities are regularly noticed. In 2018 her ability was noticed by Sethu FC and since then she’s been going upward. The club is playing an important part in her development. The 17-year-old talks about her game and much more in an exclusive interview.
Could you elaborate a little bit about your background, what made you get into football?
When I was probably about twelve years old I had an opportunity to play football in a girls’ sports hostel in Erode and you know I loved it and at the time you know I was in school that basically everybody starts out with you know so that’s kind of how I got into it and just always being interested in it and as soon as I touched the football that was the thing that I wanted to do. I got my first Indian National team call up in 2015 part of U-15 preparatory tourney. It can only describe it as a thing of joy knowing that I had been invited to represent the National team and to represent my Country.
Who supported you the most during your early days?
It was my parents who have been supporting me from the start. After being in Under-15 second-choice keeper, my parents were very supportive. But the thing is, they still don’t know that I played for the national team. They just know that I play football. That is it. My brother Vijaya Sarathi told me that I should work harder and prove myself as a good player. Others will know your worth soon! My parents have always stood like a pillar for me.
Who inspired you to choose football as a career?
It was my coach B.Sathya who played me first in the goalkeeping position and I can't thank him enough for this decision. Slowly I got the hang of it and there’s no stopping since then.
Goalkeeping position is often seen as a maverick role, a bit like the drummer in a band! What do you think it was that drew you to goalkeeping in particular?
I remember looking up 22 girls chasing after one ball I didn’t even know what it was, I knew it was a game that I had heard of that sound like a thing I might be interested in so remember looking it up and figuring at like ok and learning about it and this what the training is like and that’s kind of where it took off you know. From then on, I fell in love with football and was always playing it or watching it. But only ever from a goalkeeper’s perspective, the other parts of it didn’t interest me at all!
How does it feel to be part of Sethu FC?
It feels great to be a part of the Sethu FC and I’m grateful for the support and help they have given me. Under their care young footballers like me get the opportunity to represent the country. With their help and support, it’s up to us to make not only Sethu FC but our country proud as well by performing to the best of our abilities.
In your position what are the biggest challenges you face as a goalkeeper in Indian Football?
The most important thing is to play the matches and gain experience as a goalkeeper at a competitive level. As a goalkeeper, you have to work in combination and together with your teammates. You have to try to keep a clean sheet as often as possible and for me that is the biggest challenge. I try to help and encourage my teammates everyday in training and also in every game that we play to make things easier for ourselves as a team.
What are the ambitions and goals for Sethu FC this season?
As a team and squad we want to win the IWL title that’s our main ambition we can this win season.