Higher goals for teen scorer
Tokoroa teen Isaac Nicholson has long dreamed of playing football for his country – but his selection came sooner than expected.
The Hamilton Boys’ High School student has been picked for the New Zealand U15 Secondary Schools Football team.
‘‘I can’t wait to go overseas and play soccer at this level. The chance to play for New Zealand and wear a New Zealand uniform is something I have always dreamed about – but I didn’t think it would happen this early in my career.’’
Isaac was invited during the last school holidays to attend trials for the squad in Auckland.
‘‘It was a bit out of the blue. At first I thought someone was playing a joke on me, but three other members of my team had been rung up as well, so I knew it was for real.’’
That team is Hamilton Boys Colts A which took out the Waikato secondary school’s First Division by a significant points margin, as well as winning the junior boys knock-out cup.
Isaac was the second highest goal-scorer of the team – no mean feat considering he plays half the time in left back position.
Trials were held both in the North and South Islands and the squad consists of 18 players, including all four who trialled from Hamilton Boys’ High.
The New Zealand U15 team will depart for a tour of Singapore and Malaysia in a fortnight. There they will play six games of football over nine days.
Isaac started playing soccer at Tokoroa North School, and moved on to play for the newly formed Tokoroa AFC Hot Shots, travelling all over the Waikato in the junior clubs league.
He credits his start in and passion for the game to his coach and mentor Mark Cooper who has had huge faith in him from the beginning, and was instrumental in Isaac being selected for Waikato age group squads.
For these he and other team members had to travel at least once a week to Hamilton for training and competition, which was one reason that prompted Isaac to head to Hamilton Boys’ for his high school years.
During his years at Tokoroa, Isaac was coached by Mark, as well as Dave Chitty and Darren Manthey – all whom he would like to thank for the time and effort given to him and the rest of the Tokoroa Hot Shots.
To help him get to Singapore and Malaysia, Isaac applied for and received assistance from the Tokoroa Supersports committee, something he is also grateful for.
‘‘This is going to be the experience of my lifetime.’’
SOCCER STAR: Isaac Nicholson started his football career in Tokoroa, and will now tour Asia with a New Zealand age group side.