EMDC League, Elite Series | Niklas Castro was named Player of the Year in the OBOS League:
Player of the Year Division 1 Niklas Castro has fought his way back to the Elite Series, three years after he was last there – with a Chilean national team in the trunk.
On Saturday, he got proof that he has been 1st Division's best player this season. 17 goals and 11 goals have given him a good 6.42 on average in NTB's game exchange. On Saturday he crowned a fantastic season with a pearl scoring and another goal in the 3-1 victory over Sandefjord.
Castro has been a leader on the NTB stock exchange and has shown stable form throughout the impressive Aalesund season, which ended with a direct clearance and points record in the 1st division. It comes after a few years where the belief in one's own skills and career has changed.
– Not bitter
And the three years were perhaps one or two more than he had imagined when he played on the first team of the children's club Vålerenga.
– It started well during my period in Vålerenga, but then things started to get worse, says the 23-year-old, who is not bitter that he did not get the chance more often.
– No not at all. I don't mind the club. So is football. Sometimes you don't fit into the club, and then you have to move.
The trip then went to Kongsvinger on level two. There he stayed for two seasons before the offer from Lars Bohinen and Aalesund came.
Will strike back
The Kongsvinger transition was to get regular playing time and build self-confidence, but it also started heavily there. In 2017, there were four matches for Kongswingers second team in the fourth division.
– It's not the most fun I've done: Coming from Vålerenga and playing Division 4 against his physical therapist.
Castro got nine games in the Elite Series in 2016. He started four of the games, but only in one of them did he play all 90 minutes. Now he is ready to strike back at the highest level in Norwegian football.
– Do you have anything unclear in the Elite series?
– Yes of course. I want to prove that those who did not believe in me before were wrong. I think I took the level when I was there last. Now I'll show it again, says Castro.
At the peak of an adventurous season with Aalesund, the surprise came to be called to a national team meeting with Chile. Because of the trouble with the pass, it was clear early on that there would be no playing time, but he should join the training so that the management could get a better impression of him as a player.
Castro tells NTB about a high level, but he did not shy away and had a positive experience with star players such as Alexis Sanchéz and Arturo Vidal.
He believes and hopes that it will not be what is called the Chilean national team.
– The feedback I received was very positive. From what I have learned, it is unlikely that I will hear from them again, says the midfielder.
– This is just a start
For the Oslo boy Castro, who has grown up in Manglerud Star and Vålerenga, it was a different career path. There are many ways to reach the top, but usually there is an ingredient in all success stories.
– There have been times when things have been heavy and seemed very dark without a resort. But I have always been passionate about what I love, and I know that if you work hard for things, it will ultimately provide a reward. This is just a beginning, what has happened now, Castro promises.