I will go where I can get more playing time: Ayush Adhikari

Ayush Adhikari

One of the notable members of Indian Arrows 2019-20 squad – 19 year old Ayush Adhikari has been a consistent performer that has put the youngster in spotlight.

After sitting out of the first three games of the season that saw Arrows fail to pick up a single point, Ayush was given his first start against an inform Churchil Brothers. The youngster didn’t disappoint putting in a memorable shift in the midfield as his side went on to shock the league favorites in the 2-1 victory.

Growing in a sport loving family, Ayush picked up football quite early at the age 7 after a visit to his dad’s football academy. Talking about his love for the game Ayush describes, “I started playing, when I was around 7 years old. I used to play on the streets and parks. My father, who was a coach at a local academy in Delhi, once took me to his academy. From that day, I was hooked and started going there regularly. I fell in love with football.”

After impressing for his state team during the U14 nationals, Ayush was selected for the U Dream Football programme in Germany, where he spent almost four years of his life. On his return to India, Ayush signed for Bengaluru based I league 2nd Division side Ozone FC. However it was during the 2018-19 Santosh Trophy that Ayush first hit the limelight. Playing for Delhi, Ayush went on to finish the campaign top scoring with 6 goals despite his side failing to make the knockouts.

It didn’t take long for ISL club to spot the talent and in July 2019 Kerala Blaster came knocking for their reserve side. However, in search of regular game time at a competitive level, Ayush soon switched to AIFF developmental side Indian Arrows in I league. Talking about his experience at the Arrows, Ayush states, “The experience for me with the Indian Arrows has been great because I have learned a lot of things. I think I have improved my game because of the tough competition we had in the I-league and I have pushed myself to work harder.”

Although known for his goal scoring exploits in the Santosh Trophy, Ayush has made his name as a midfielder in I League. Crediting his coach for his new role, Ayush added, “Under Venky Sir, I have learned a lot of new things, especially about the midfield and it has helped me to make my game mature.”

Like every striker, Ayush instinct carves for goals too however with his new position as midfielder in the team, he has adjusted to his role and responsibility quite well, preferring to get the job done more than trying to go for glory himself. “As a CAM, I always try to react according to the situation and of course I want to score goals. But if the striker or wingers are in better positions, I look to give a perfect pass to them. So, they can get the job done perfectly and it helps the team.” states Ayush.

Ayush’s approach to any game has mainly been to be mentally prepared and focused with music playing an important role,” I try not to take any pressure and focus on enjoying my game. I usually listen to music, to concentrate before every game.”

Ayush credits his father for instilling the motivation for football but it’s Mahesh Gawli, who inspires Ayush on pitch. Talking about his role models, Ayush adds,”I started playing football because of my father and he is the one who always motivates me. And in Indian football, I follow Mahesh Gawli sir because I have seen him play. His focus, determination, commitment, and love for football has inspired me a lot.

For a 19 year old, Ayush seems quite confident and clear of what he wants. While most players of his age and squad have already signed up for the ISL teams, Ayush’s preference still lies in getting more game time and not just the glitz and glamour filled ISL. He would rather sign for a club that would offer him good game time to improve and gain experience. Talking about his need for game time, Ayush adds, “I think I need more games. I have to improve and need to gain more experience by playing more games. So, I will go where I can get more games.”

Ayush Adikari has impressed many with his versatility, from being a star striker for Delhi in Santosh trophy to now as a dependable midfielder with Indian Arrows; a consistent performer for his side, a talent to watch out for in the near future.

Also Read: Midfielder Indumathi ‘plays for the nation’ wearing khaki uniform during COVID-19 pandemic
Also Read: Mohun Bagan’s Subha Ghosh, Sheikh Sahil pay tribute to their ‘first heroes’

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