Former St Kentigern student Arzan Todywalla is off to further his football aspirations after being offered a scholarship at St Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
Good enough to trial for Birmingham City as a youngster in 2014, Todywalla is hoping to make a career in professional football after completing his studies offshore. He also works part time as a salesman at a local Noel Leeming store.
Todywalla is a talented all-round sportsman having represented New Zealand in the Oceania Futsal (indoor soccer) competition in 2017.
Todywalla leaves this week for California, then on to his home for the next four years, and the Times caught up with him just before he boarded the plane for San Francisco.
When asked about travelling to a country struggling to contain Covid-19, Todywalla said the university has put excellent measures in place. He will still have to self-isolate on-campus for 14 days upon his arrival.
The undergraduate finance programme he will be studying is a four-year commitment and Todywalla said he will be looking to “work his way into the top side” after linking up with his new teammates and assimilating to the methods of head coach Adam Cooper.
The St Mary’s soccer programme is highly regarded in US soccer circles and the school has won its regional conference more than once.
The fall season starts in September so Todywalla will be straight into practice and games post-isolation.
He becomes the third Kiwi on the team roster alongside Sebastian Schacht and Boyd Curry.
Long term, Arzan says he would love to be picked up by a major league soccer side at the end of the four years at college.
He added that he is appreciative of those who have helped him on his footballing journey to date. “I’m grateful to all my coaches and family and friends as, without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it.”