Rojas living his dream

Marco Rojas' path to the Wellington Phoenix has been a little unconventional to say the least.

Marco Rojas' path to the Wellington Phoenix has been a little unconventional to say the least.

A few months ago the 17-year-old midfielder was playing amateur football for Hamilton Wanderers having turned out in a handful of matches for New Zealand Football Championship side Waikato FC.

But winning a scholarship run by supporters of the Wellington Phoenix - Yellow Fever - now sees the talented teenager 'living his dream'.

The $5000 scholarship earned him the chance to train with the Phoenix for a week and the rest, as they say, is history.

He impressed so much during his initial week with the club he was invited back for another trial period which included the trip to Queenstown for the Phoenix's pre-season match against the Melbourne Victory.

He came on in the second half, set up Troy Hearfield's 77th-minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw, and earned himself a two-year deal.

Rojas, who has never been part of the New Zealand junior set-up, admits there were a few nerves the first time he ran out on the training paddock with the Phoenix.

"It was different to what I'd been used to so there was a little bit of nerves. But once I got started it was good," he said.

"It's an amazing experience because I used to watch them all the time and now to be training with them is crazy."

"The boys are great they've helped me heaps and I'm just living my dream."

Despite being so young Rojas has not felt any additional pressure to prove himself because of his age.

"I've been playing adult football for a while now so I've always been the youngest it's just the same here. There's not too much pressure," he said, although he added there was plenty of banter between him and the older members of the team.

"You get the odd joke here and there but it's all good team fun."

Rojas was taken to Sydney but did not play and was in line for a spot on the bench for last Friday's match against Adelaide United before a calf strain ruled him out.

But coach Ricki Herbert has said that, provided he is fit, he is likely to make the trip to Melbourne for Sunday's round six Hyundai A-League clash against the Victory at Etihad Stadium.

"He's at the club because he's good enough. I'd have no fears in putting him in."

"He's a good little talent, like Costa [Barbarouses]. They are pacy and technically good and they will cause problems. They will certainly get some [game] time this year."