“I enjoy training,” says Arthur. “Some people think it must be boring, training day in, day out. But I love it. In fact, I find it addictive, whether I’m playing football or training. Just doing one thing well – like a turn, or pass, or shot – can give you such a thrill. Little things like going past a player. You do it once and you want to do it again.”
Arthur and his team-mates do one-on-one work with the coaches, and are given fitness training with regular sessions in the gym at the training complex, where they rub shoulders with first-teamers. “It underlines to all of us that we're professional players,” says Arthur.
Training, of course, is interspersed with matches and in a short time, Arthur has managed to play in 20 games, with the juvenile squad winning its championship.
Originally, it had looked like he might end up in England, having spent time at the Manchester United youth academy, and trained with Preston and, briefly, Tranmere. But after he moved to Spain and spent one year with the Espanyol youth team and one and a half years with Espanyol's B team. Now Arthur plays his football with Waasland Beveren.
But for now, as he contemplates the next step up in his development as a pro footballer, Arthur Irawan is feeling right at home at Beveren.