By Nathan Morton
Pakuranga College student
Many turned out to watch the Under 17 Youth Tournament earlier this month, which saw 36 football sides from across the country compete against one another at Seddon Fields in Western Springs.
The competition gave the young prospects opportunities to show their skills for their respective sides, in hopes to win silverware and impress scouts present at the contest. Arzan Todywalla, a year 11 student attending Saint Kentergen College was among the sporting prodigies present, playing with Birkenhead United FC and going on to claim the trophy.
The 15-year-old was approached by four different clubs to compete as a guest player, choosing Birkenhead as he was unable to compete with his current club Fencibles United, which did not participate due to unknown reasons.
However his friendly and polite nature allowed him to gel easily with the senior side. “Paul Hobson [Birkenhead’s head coach] and his team were very kind and welcoming,” Arzan said.
“Although it was a very short span I learnt a lot from the team and Paul”.
Arzan was also grateful to be a part of the tournament-winning side, which prevailed 2-0 over Onehunga Sports in the final which was covered by Sky Sports.
This is not the first time that Arzan has made headlines for his footballing ability, his potential being recognized by European scouts as early as 2014.
While most students his age were working away in class, Arzan was playing U13 football for English Championship team Birmingham City, scoring twice against Swansea City.