Arran Airs with his daughter at Phoenix Rising gameArran Airs, the early years

It’s probably worth starting off this bio by saying I’m the loud Aussie one. My football career ended in the under-11s in a small town in regional Australia, with the devastating statistic of one goal to my name.

I like to think that I was a smart (arse) kid, but I had a terrible time playing sports in my formative years. I finally hit my stride in my late teenage years playing basketball and swimming. Here, my stats are a little more impressive. I still hold the Uralla Central School 100 metres backstroke record, and won a state basketball title for Uralla Central.

That may have been a false dawn for my basketball career. I was recruited into the regional team, whereby we lost to Coffs Harbour (not known for basketball) to the tune of 78-1. I scored the sole point.

My love affair with football

Arran Airs bioMy football love affair started in the summer of 2003 when, after a year in London, I felt the despair of a few months of summer without soccer. I had been thoroughly introduced to football via working in a pub and living in the East End of London. The team the locals supported was - by and large - the Arsenal. It wasn’t so much that I studied the game, more that I absorbed it. I learnt about the players, the tactics, the teams to dislike and, of course, the ups and downs. That happened to be a very good year to start supporting Arsenal.

I stayed in London for another few years before returning to Australia. My passion for the game didn’t wane, despite the distance and the early sleep-deprived starts to the week - result of 4am Premier League kick-offs (at best).

My home town is not your stereotypical Australian town. It’s not by the beach - situated over 1000 meters above sea level. It rains. It snows. It’s green for most of the year. Even so, I would find myself with my select crew watching the Northern Inland Premier League team The Demon Knights, in rain and sometimes snow, but always with a passion for the game and a beer in hand.

Being a football fan in the United States

Arran Airs with USL Western Conference CupFinally to the US, which I arrived in 2012. I was surprised to see a burgeoning football culture. The MLS was making strides in the mainstream and the Premier League had a solid support base that continues to grow. The arrival of Phoenix Rising on the scene in 2016 allowed me to once again be passionate for my local team. Not only that, but be evangelical for the game – trying in vain to induct my defiant four-year old daughter, and my partner Cindy, with whom I’ve had a bit more success.

I live and breathe the game and hope that my passion encourages others to have a closer look at the “beautiful game”.

You’ll see me in the supporters end of the Phoenix Rising every home game, yelling and cheering and booing. Earning my reputation as the “loud Aussie guy”. Come up and say “hi”.

Favorite teams:

Arsenal F.C., Phoenix Rising F.C., Accrington Stanley F.C., Sydney FC, Parramatta Eels, New South Wales Waratahs, Socceroos