PIFA player nets national league goal
The Canterbury United players may not have been too worried when Callan Elliot joined the fray from the bench in their match against Tasman United the other week.
Plenty of people from Wairarapa would have known what he is capable of producing though and in a triumph for Paul Ifill and his almost two year old Football Academy (PIFA), Elliot scored an 85th minute winner for Tasman.
It was the first goal to be scored in the national league by an academy player.
Ifill recalled receiving a pass from Cory Chettleburgh, who also works at the Rathkeale College based academy, beating a couple of players and crossing for Elliot who timed his run beautifully to score.
‘‘That goal was made at the academy really. Callan has been at Rathkeale for three years now and been with the academy from the start and Cory has been coaching for awhile now. Callan is originally from Nelson but has been a familiar face in Wairarapa for the past three years.
‘‘We have a plan for him to go to Europe and trial and he will probably send videos off to US colleges or take part in the trail matches they run here in New Zealand.
‘‘We’ve a load of players in the national youth league now and some are breaking into the senior squads. Tom Wagner, Alex Britton, Liam Kerr and Pranay Singh are current or ex-academy and are part of national league set-ups, so it looks good for what we are trying to do,’’ Ifill said.
Elliot is now part of the senior squad at Tasman and though he didn’t get off the bench in the draw they had with Southern United in the weekend gone, he has impressed coach Davor Tavich enough to be elevated from the Tasman United national youth team.
Tavich said Elliot was a tidy footballer, strong enough to play senior football and scored a nice goal.
Elliot was very happy to score and happy with his contribution off the bench. He trained hard and worked hard and it paid off against a quality team like Can- terbury, he said.
Tasman United play Team Wellington in Miramar this Sunday with many of the Wellington players likely to be more aware of what Elliot is capable of.
Callan Elliot in action for Wairarapa United earlier this year.