AFC Ann Arbor are pleased to announce the signing of Aidan Nam to The Mighty Oak for the 2019 season. No stranger to Ann Arbor, Nam is born and raised in Ann Arbor, having attended Saline high school before joining the University of Michigan Wolverines last season. Having been a commit to the Wolverines since 2016, two years before he would step on campus as a student, Nam is set on representing his hometown well both as a club player with AFCAA as well as on the university level. Nam sat out his freshman season with the Wolverines, however with two of the three starting midfielders for the Wolverines graduating, the opportunities will be there for Nam to try and earn playing time in the 2019 collegiate season.
While Nam attended Saline, he did not feature on their pitch, instead playing his club soccer with Crew SC Academy Wolves. In addition to his club and university exploits, he also featured for the U-14 and U-16 United States National Team. When talking about the experience of playing with a club in his hometown that is as decorated as The Mighty Oak are, Nam said, “Playing NPSL-level soccer in Ann Arbor means a lot to me, and I think that the club has established a good name for itself, and I plan to continue with promoting the brand and soccer that is played here in Ann Arbor.” He also noted that playing in front of friends and family will be a memorable experience for the local player.
The idea of playing with The Mighty Oak has been something that has always been present in Nam’s mind. “AFC Ann Arbor has always been a playing destination for me ever since the team was founded,” Nam told us. “Being from Ann Arbor, I knew right away that I wanted to get an opportunity to play for the city I've grown up in.” Given the nature of the NPSL and consistent changes in the roster composition, having local players who understand the community aspect of the club and its team-based culture as a whole is an immediate advantage if these are new players. Being from Ann Arbor certainly makes that prominent in Nam’s mind.
Not only is there the obvious local connection for Nam, but there is familiarity with the coach as well. “I also have known Coach Eric Rudland since I was ten, and I can't wait to get the opportunity to play for him for the first time after all of these years,” Nam revealed to AFC. He would also add that, “The organization as a whole, and the recent success of the club also made it an attractive squad to join.” Eric Rudland added, speaking to the importance of local representation, “It's exciting to have him with us and keep the connection alive between our club and local talent.”
As a player, there is plenty to look forward to when it comes to Nam. He shared some of his own personal strengths, saying, “I think some of my greatest strengths are my technical ability in the midfield and out wide as a winger, and also my creativity in the final third.” He would also add, “I also think I have good pace to go along with my technical and tactical awareness. I also have a good range of passing.” The versatility of playing on a wing or in the heart of the pitch, combined with the physical and mental attributes he possesses, makes Nam an exciting candidate for selection for the side. “Aidan still has a lot of capacity to grow as a player and we are excited to see him develop and contribute during our season,” Rudland added about the newest member of The Mighty Oak.
“I'm expecting a competitive training environment that will help me grow as a player and gain experience and knowledge by playing with the older guys in the group,” said Nam of early expectations for this season to come. “I'm hoping to compete for playing time, as I know there are a lot of guys on the team,” Nam also added, in acknowledge of the quality that he will be joining here in 2019. Hoping to bring in his experience as a player, he would conclude by saying to the fans, “I plan to represent the city of Ann Arbor well, and I can't wait to play in front of the community.”
About AFC Ann Arbor
Founded in 2014, Association Football Club Ann Arbor launched it’s men’s semi-pro team in 2015 and has competed in the NPSL since 2016. Led by Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland, the team has found great success winning back to back Great Lakes Championships (‘17 & ‘18) and earning US Open Cup bids three straight years (2017-2019). In October 2018, the club announced the launch of the women’s side, who will be skippered by Andy “Pritch” Pritchard in their inaugural season of the United Women’s Soccer national league. Owned and operated by a group of local soccer fans and entrepreneurs, AFC Ann Arbor has become a fixture in the greater Ann Arbor community.