The Newz Radar
MANDI: Fifteen-year-old Aaryan Thakur has done his home town Sundernagar and Mandi proud by becoming the first footballer from the district to get selected for the national under-16 football trials, held in Srinagar from July 25-30, 2023. He is likely to make it to the second trials in Delhi, following which his participation in the under-16 Indian team would almost be sure.
An inspiration for many, the budding sports sensation was shortlisted for the national camp during the trials held in Hamirpur in June. Aaryan, who returned from the camp earlier this week, was accorded a warm welcome by his school and football academy where he was learning the art of taming the ball with foot.
Born in a humble background, Aaryan had an inborn talent for the sport. He started playing with the ball and foot at an early age of four. His talent caught the attention of his father who got him registered with a local football academy, Phasor Football Acadmey, at the age of six.
Roshal Ali, his coach, honed the skills of this young lad in his academy where he emerged as the best sportsperson within months of the training. A student of St Mary’s School, Sundernagar, Aaryan started playing interschool matches and won several awards in different team events as he represented his school in sports other than football too.
Talking to TNR, Ali said Aaryan was a highly dedicated and disciplined boy right from the age of six when he started hitting the ground. “He is honest for himself and serious towards his game as he never misses the ground in any situation,” Ali said, adding that his commitment for the game had paid him off. “The best thing about the shining star is that he is a ‘left footer’, which is very rare in this sport and adds points to one’s career in the long run,” said the coach.
Sister Dhanya, Principal of St Mary’s School, too was all praise for the boy. She said Aaryan was an all-rounder who excelled not only in sports but was a topper in academics too. “He is one of the best students of the school who remained sports in charge of the school for two years in a row and handled all sports responsibilities independently,” she shared proudly.
Another coach, Harish from Rising Star Academy, said he had been noticing the game of this boy and always wanted him to spear ahead, which he has done. “He is passionate about the game. So are we. I want him to play for Himachal and his country,” he said. Himachal Pradesh Football Association president Sunil Sharma and secretary Deepak Sharma have congratulated the budding star.