Rojas thriving at Phoenix

Seventeen-year-old Phoenix midfielder Marco Rojas has a knack of making the most of each and every opportunity presented to him.

Seventeen-year-old Phoenix midfielder Marco Rojas has a knack of making the most of each and every opportunity presented to him.

Rojas was selected by the Yellow Fever as their annual scholarship recipient which enabled the Hamiltonian to travel to Wellington and train with the Phoenix during the off-season.

However, an injury initially prevented him from attending and, as a result, he ended up playing against the Melbourne Victory in a pre-season match in Queenstown.

Rojas impressed so much that they eventually signed him as their third and final mandatory Under-20 squad member.

"It took me a while to get used to it all just with the change in trainings and that but coming from the NZFC it's been a really good thing for me with the change in quality and even after being here six months I feel I've become a better player."

Phoenix CEO Tony Pignata said it would be a shame for someone of Rojas' quality to slip through the cracks of New Zealand Football and be lost off-shore but Rojas just wants to make the most of this opportunity first.

"It's great for my confidence and it's good to know they know I can do a job here as well."

"I know I can handle it, I'm just here to train well and get some game time on the pitch and hopefully do well for the club," he said.

"It's great just to be able to do what you love every day."

"Trainings have been good - really intense."

"At the start I got sore muscles here and there but I'm starting to get used to it - I'm feeling fit and ready and everything is going well."

Rojas likes to keep things pretty simple in his mind and has coped with the change in standard remarkably well yet he still wants to take as much as he can from the senior players.

"The pace is a lot quicker and the opposition work harder to chase you down and they come with a lot more numbers as well and the quality of the football as well so just being involved in that can only help me get better."

"Everyone has been great to me."

"They're easy to talk to, get along with and they've helped me to make the transition a lot easier."

"A few of the more experienced players like Paul Ifill and Chris Greenacre who have played in England have given me a lot of hints and tips and you can learn a lot from those types of players - I'm always learning."

Rojas is extremely thankful to those in charge at the Yellow Fever for giving him such an opportunity and he wants to repay their faith by showing some loyalty to the Phoenix.

"I want to keep training hard and better myself as a player and hopefully get a bit of game time. Long-term, I just want to do well at the Phoenix."