Fustal represents Liberato Cacace’s only chance to represent his school in football. The Year 12 centre back at St. Patrick’s College, Wellington is not permitted to play for the First XI due to his commitments with the Phoenix.
“I guess have to dig deep to accept that. I would like to play more for school, but the Phoenix have been good to me. I guess it’s the way it is,” Cacace says.
Cacace, who played regular minutes for the Phoenix Under-20’s in the recently completed Stirling Sports Premiership, made the most of his rare appearance for Town at the recent National Championships in Wellington.
Town won the final against Napier Boys’ High School 5-0 and Cacace scored every goal in Town’s third National triumph in four years.
“I was quite surprised, I still am. It’s a bit overwhelming.” Cacace humbly admits.
The first five minutes of the decider was cagey with both sides rarely threatening goal. Town’s goalie was forced into a diving kick save from a fierce Napier shot. The rebound flew to Cacace on the left wing who burst forward and opened Town’s account with an angled drive.
Cacace doubled Town’s advantage from a Napier turnover and it was 2-0 at the interval.
Cacace’s third goal effectively settled the content while the fourth was a thumping free-kick and the fifth another opportunist strike.
“The support of the school was awesome and every one of our starters and rolling subs all contributed.” Cacace says.
“I love Fustal because it’s a real chance to express myself.” Cacace continued.
Cacace expressed himself most impressively on the score sheet netting 20 goals throughout the tournament to win the Golden Boot. However it wasn’t all plain sailing for Town. A particularly tough match against Hamilton Boys’ High School illustrated their champion credentials.
“We were up 2-0 when we had our goal keeper sent off. He collided with the Hamilton striker leaving us with four men on the court. We managed to win 4-3, but it was tough because we had to play a lot of defense.” Cacace recalls.
In the winter Cacace will play for Wellington United in the Central League and in October will more than likely head to India with the New Zealand team for the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in India. Cacace played every minute of the Oceania Championships won by New Zealand in Tahiti.
“The biggest challenge in Tahiti was the heat and it will be even worse in India. I think we have a team that can get out of the group. There is a lot of talent. It’s an awesome challenge and opportunity.” Cacace ends.
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