Football Tribe SEA Editor
Swedish-Indonesian defender Nyoman Paul Fernando Aro has put pen into paper on his first professional contract, which would see the 19-year old player being promoted from the youth squad of Skovde AIK to the club’s senior squad. Skovde AIK’s senior squad currently plays in the Division 1 Sodra, the third tier of Swedish football just beneath the Superettan (2nd tier) and Allsvenskan (top flight).
Nyoman himself is a Singaraja native, having spent his school years there. His mother, Kadek Sri Wedari, was from the village of Anturan, just outside the Buleleng Regency capital. Nyoman’s father, Rami Aro, is Swedish. Nyoman moved to Sweden from Singaraja after graduating from junior high school and he had just finished senior high school in the Scandinavian country. Despite spending a good few years of his life outside Indonesia, Nyoman revealed that he already have an Indonesian passport, ID card, and even driver’s license, dispelling any rumors that he might have to undergo naturalization should he wish to play for the Indonesia national team.
“I have an Indonesian passport. Two actually, with a Finnish one, but I’m planning to return the Finnish passport to the country’s embassy in Indonesia soon,” Nyoman told Bolasport, “I also have an Indonesian driver’s license and an Indonesian ID card. People often thought that I’m a foreigner thanks to my Caucasian-looking face.”
Nyoman also revealed that his father’s decision to return to Sweden was one of the best decisions that have affected his life, as he was able to hone his footballing skills in a country known for producing players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Toivonen, Henrik Larsson, and Markus Rosenberg among others.
“There weren’t many good football fields in Singaraja,” Nyoman said, “But here I can practice my skills as a footballer in a better way. Both my mental skills and playing vision have improved significantly. Even though I might not get paid to play football, I can say that I’m proud of myself.”
Nyoman admitted that his first few years in Sweden was tough. The climate was different compared to Singaraja and the social life there is drastically different too. Nyoman himself only mastered the Swedish language in 2018. However, Nyoman’s unwavering determination enabled him to survive in such a foreign environment, with that same determination driving him up the ranks of the Skovde AIK U-19 squad.
Operating usually as a right fullback, Nyoman has already spent three years in the Skovde AIK setup, and he’s been a regular for the club’s U-19 squad. Nyoman’s performances for the Skovde U-19 has impressed the coaching staff of the senior squad, which led to him being recommended for Skovde’s senior squad. And on Monday, Nyoman signed the contract that confirmed his promotion into the Skovde AIK main team, with the contract itself lasting for two years. With new challenges awaiting him following his promotion, Nyoman is determined to make a name for himself in Sweden, as well as trying his best to break into the Indonesia national team.
With the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the horizon, a number of talented players were touted to be included within the U-19 national team who will make their bow in the competition. A number of usual suspects such as Witan Sulaeman, brothers Bagus Kaffa and Bagas Kaffi, Beckham Putra, and Sutan Diego Zico were touted, as well as a number of overseas players of Indonesian descent, such as Elkan Baggott (Ipswich Town U-18), Joe Ferguson (Blackburn Rovers U-18), Jack Brown (Lincoln City U-18), Stefan Antonic, the son of PS Sleman head coach Dejan Antonic who now plies his trade at Hong Kong Premier League side Kwoon Chung Southern, and Nyoman himself. Realizing this, Nyoman said that he’s determined to work hard to earn his spot in Shin Tae-yong’s national team setup.
“I’m more than willing to accept if the Indonesia national team calls me,” Nyoman said, “I’m ready as an individual and I’ve worked hard for the past three years, going from the reserves to be promoted into the main team of my club.”
And it seems that Skovde AIK are aware of Nyoman’s desire to play regularly to earn himself a call-up to the national team and the Swedish side are allowing Nyoman to go out on loan to a Liga 1 club to earn his minutes there. Predictably, the frontrunners for Nyoman’s temporary services are Bali United, the club of Nyoman’s homeland. Coincidentally, Bali United already have an alumni from the Swedish leagues in their ranks – Iraqi midfielder Brwa Nouri, who once captained Allsvenskan side Ostersunds FK.
In preparing himself to impress the Indonesia U-19 coaching staff, led by assistant coach Nova Arianto, Nyoman has been in intense communication with the former Persib Bandung player, as well as sending the coaching staff his CV. Nyoman is also planning to return to Bali this Sunday July 19th, where he will train alongside Bali United player and fellow Buleleng Regency native Komang Tri Arta Wiguna, who had already received a call-up to a recent online training camp conducted by the Indonesia U-19 national team coaching staff.