Ty Shipalane, a former member of the Louisville Lightning, has made a name for himself outside the world of indoor soccer. After a very successful beginning to his season with the Lightning he was called upon by the Carolina Railhawks of the NASL Division 2 league and is currently with them as they enjoy their 6th season of outdoor soccer action. Shipalane took some time out of his busy schedule with the Railhawks to talk about not only his current season but also reflect on his time with Lightning.
Ty currently is playing midfielder or winger for the Railhawks and is working his way into the rotation. The Railhawks have just started their season and Shipalane has seen a lot to make him positive about the upcoming season, “the pre-season went very smooth lot of positives came out of it and helped us to find our identity as a team. We are now 3 games in on the regular season we’ve tied all 3 games so far but playing very well.” Last season the RailHawks capped off a season for the record books, breaking nearly twenty team records, capturing the NASL regular season championship, and reaching the NASL semi-finals in the post-season. Shipalane hopes to build upon that success this season, while also reaching his own personal goals saying, “Winning the league and reaching the playoffs as a team, while having a breakout season myself,” are what he hopes to reach this season.
Shipalane’s time with the Lightning was a great help to him as he prepared for the outdoor game saying, “it helped me to stay sharp and active in terms of fitness and helped me to play quicker as the indoor field is smaller and helped me to think quick and play fast as a player.” Those weren’t the only positive things that came out of his time with the Lightning. He was impressed greatly and enjoyed that the fans provided an energetic atmosphere to play in. The support and excitement from the fans was very “exciting and pleasing to see,” Shipalane said.
While his time with the Lightning helped him prepare for the outdoor game, comparing the indoor to the outdoor is impossible. “It’s totally two different types of games,” said Shipalane, “the outdoor field is bigger, more demanding in terms of ground to cover and there are more players to take account for than there are in the indoor game. Also they have totally different rules.”
Once his season concludes with the Railhawks, Shipalane plans to reunite with his family in South Africa for the Christmas season. When asked what advice he wanted to give to aspiring professional soccer players Shipalane said, “just keep working, keep believing and chase your dream of becoming a professional player I’m sure with dedication nothing can stop you if you really put all the work into it.”