Image Credits: Aaren D'Silva
Strikers love scoring goals, regardless of what level they play at – and Under-21 forward Aaren D’Silva is no different!
Aaren joined the FC Goa Reserves side in 2017-18 season as part of Derick Pereira’s new-look Under-19 side and netted his first competitive goals for the Club against FC Bardez in the Goa Pro League. Aaren was the standout performer last year when he won the Golden Boot, Golden Ball and champions of Reliance Football Tournament. As for most of the Young Gaurs, life at the club has been a big change for the Ponda native – but he’s loving day-to-day life at the club.
Currently playing in the Goa Professional League and Hero 2nd Division I-league, the Rosary College of Commerce and Arts student, discussed his overall game and his expectation in the upcoming games and more in the interview.
First of all, tell us a little more about yourself, how old are you, whereabouts do you live, and what you do outside of football.
I’m 21 years old and I live in Ponda which is situated in the centre of Goa. I spend most of my time playing football and attending college but apart from it I also like dancing and trying out new places to eat.
How long have you been involved in football and what influenced you to start playing?
It’s been about 12 years now since I’ve been involved with this beautiful game, as a kid I grew up watching EPL and I’ve been a huge fan of the tournament and I like the way the fans cheered and encouraged them and it inspired me to be a part of it.
Is there any player, in particular, growing up that you looked up to and inspired you with your playing style and if so why?
I have always looked upon Cristiano Ronaldo, he has been my idol, I have always admired him for his dribbling skills and his ability to score goals from almost anywhere at his time at Manchester United and Real Madrid and is still doing it with Juventus. He’s a determined person and knows his wants and works on them to achieve them.
What can you tell us about your playing style - what kind of footballer are you?
As a striker I love scoring goals and so always try to be in and around the box making runs forward and doing combination plays. But the most I love doing is heading the balls in coming from the crosses.
What’s something you want to add to your game or get better at?
I would like to improve my speed and strengths to my game. Adding on some speed to my sprints and building some strength would enhance my game and help me do better.
Do you have a special routine or superstition before you play a big game?
Superstitions have never been my cup of tea, I believe in dedicated preparation by working hard before big games and giving in the best I can. That has worked well for me.
What have been your school/college sports and what accomplishments have you and your team had over the years?
We were the champions of the All Goa Football inter-school U-16 tournament in 2014, in 2017 we won the Inter-collegiate Reliance Football tournament where I was awarded with the Golden Boot and Golden Ball of the tournament and also got the man of the match in the final, in 2018 and 2019 we won the inter-college football tournament organized by the Goa university wherein I got the Man of the Match in the final of 2019.
You scored your first goal for the club against FC Bardez in the Goa Pro League, how important was it to get that goal for you?
That goal helped me develop self confidence in my capabilities at such high standards. It helped me prove myself worth to myself as well as my club and it recognized me as an asset to the team.
Is there any particular memories from your playing career so far that stand out as being special to you?
Playing the Santosh Trophy for the state team was a great achievement for me, I had an amazing experience playing alongside some experienced players like Francis D’Souza and Peter Carvalho. The good part about it that we reached to the finals and the bad is that we could not be the champions. That 1-0 loss was really devastating for all of us.
Since you’re a forward, what type of goal you often score and what’s the best goal you have scored and against whom?
As a tall striker, I have an advantage of scoring from headers and I make the maximum use of it. I guess scoring the goal against Chandigarh in my debut for the state in the Santosh trophy by sliding in from a cross put by our captain Francis is the memory I cherish the most though it was not the best of my finishing.
What are you hoping to achieve this season both for yourself and for the club as a whole?
We aim at winning the Goa Professional League this season which we are close to. For me achievement would be performing to my fullest and scoring and assisting the team in all possible ways.
Finally, what are your hopes for your footballing career, is there a level you would like to achieve?
I for sure want to be a part of the national team some day but in the near future I want to debut in the Hero Indian Super League.
List down all your achievements?
Top scorer GFA U-16, and Champions same season Inter-school Champions Golden Boot, Golden Ball and champions of reliance tournament Inter-collegiate champions 2018 and 2019 GSPL champions in the first edition of the league Runners up in All India for the Santosh Trophy.
Quick fire questions
Food craving? Brownies and Tiramisu
What's your go-to karaoke song? Perfect
Which football team do you support? Juventus
Top tracks you listen to? Feeling Good, 7 rings
Favourite movie and or TV show of 2018/19? MTV Roadies
What would your all-time favourite XI line-up be? GK Neuer, RB Dani Alves, RCB Puyol, LCB Ramos, LB Marcelo, CDM Xavi, CDM Luka Modric, RW Messi, CAM Kevin de Bruyne, LW Neymar, Striker C.Ronaldo.