Image Credits: @Aryan
A centre-back who excels at putting in tackles and shielding the backline, 18-year-old Aryan Kamlesh Shirke has great pace and stamina, and models his game on Rahul Bheke, is part of Iron Born F.C youth squad.
Following the steps of Rahul Bheke, 18-year-old Aryan Kamlesh Shirke is the latest on the production line of Iron Born FC, establishing himself at MDFA level and AIFF Youth Leagues as well as All India Invitational tournaments, and in the process gaining more attention in the coming years.
Aryan possesses the regular traits of a nippy young centre-back – he is strong and agile and his pressing game is excellent, his positioning good and his never-say-die attitude unflappable, putting in tackles and shielding the backline, all of which combine to create all the hallmarks of a modern centre-backs in the making.
The 18-year-old will most likely keep climbing through the ranks before making a jump to top division club in the country.
First of all, how did it all start? Take us through your path to football.
It seems like yesterday, a rather recent past, that I started playing football for the first time. I was studying 6th standard and used to play for the school team then it became my passion and I decided to turn my passion into my work and became a professional footballer.
Over the course of time, my skills enabled me to compete professionally and also presented me with the opportunity to compete at the Maharashtra state team, SGFI National School Games of 2019-20, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. And each day, I try to become a more confident version of myself on the game.
When you were younger who was the player you idolised and thought 'I want to be great like that'?
When I was growing up, and we were so fortunate to have such a wonderful era of truly incredible players. I absolutely loved watching Neymar J. R. and the way he approaches playing football and the energy, enthusiasm and determination he plays with is something I very much admire about. Sunil Chhetri and Rahul Bheke are the Indian players I have truly admired as well.
Is there any player that you looked up to and inspired you with your playing style and if so why?
As a centre-back wanting to stand in front of the goalkeeper to hold up play, of course, I looked up to Rahul Bheke. While I was growing up, I watched him playing for the national team & Bengaluru FC and he was a great example for me to follow. As a player, I want to have the presence and influence on games like he has.
How would you describe your game to people who haven’t seen you play?
Defenders should have a good aerial presence, strength to tackle, pressing game, and an unflappable never-say-die attitude. I have been rigorously practising these routines to become a good defender. I always give my 100% on the field and calm myself for a great game.
When a person is passionate for something, that thing is like a life for him. We all know that you are extremely passionate about football. What are your feelings when you take the ball and go play?
When I step onto the pitch all my troubles go away, the only thing that matters on the field is the beautiful game.
What drives you to get up and go training every day?
To learn new things day-by-day and ready for future challenges.
Do you have a special routine or superstition before you play a big game?
A proper sleep before the match, healthy diet and sense of calmness for a good game.
Imagine you were to be awarded the Ballon d’Or for things done in your private life, what would you receive for it?
Think it would be for the never-give-up attitude and learning from the failure to become better than yesterday.
Obviously, it is early days in your career, but you must have played countless games so far in your career, which one holds a special place in your heart?
I certainly feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to sign a contract with Iron Born F.C. It was a great feeling for me and I motivate myself to give my 100% for the team and I got chance to play in the U-18 I-League and that match holds a special place in my heart. To have been able to do that, and have so many wonderful experiences associated with that has been a true highlight.
What are your hopes for your football career, is there a level you would like to achieve?
Yes, I want to represent my country on the international level and want to become a good football player.