Two 14-year-old football stars who have South American heritage but southern connections are both achieving good things and aiming high in their sport.
Agustin Coronel, born in New Zealand but with Argentinian heritage, started playing fun football at Old Boys AFC in Invercargill, loved it and carried on. Now at the age of 14 he is part of the Wellington Phoenix Football Academy in Wellington.
Agustin has achieved a lot through his own determination and the support of his coaches. He has always had a focus on training and where he wants to go and consequently lockdown last year was very hard on him. During lockdown all trainings were cancelled, including trainings with the Southern United Academy in Dunedin where he had been selected for a second year. Undeterred, Agustin found Dylan Stansfield from FCF Training in Auckland online and that helped him keep focus and use the lockdown to improve his skills and speed.
Agustin’s mother, Dora, then discovered two academies in Wellington, the Ole Football Academy and the Phoenix Academy. A video of Agustin playing for Southland United was dispatched to each and they both invited him to join. Agustin went to both a camp at both academies in October last year and both invited Agustin to join. He chose the Phoenix and a month later plans were underway which would see him settle upon attending Scots College and staying at their boarding house.
In just three short months he has achieved a lot in Wellington and at the age of just 14 he has played Under 17 for the Wellington Phoenix while also being selected for regional trainings organised by NZ Football as well as gaining selection for the first National Camp (ID camp) for the All Whites Under 17’s with just twenty-five youngsters from all over New Zealand involved.
Agustin says he is “loving it in Wellington.” It is a full week however, as he rises early each day for either his own training or gym work followed by school with training again most days after school. That regime goes on from Tuesday to Saturday each week. Sunday is game day and Monday a rest day
Agustin says he has made sacrifices to get where he is, “I did not spend so much time with my friends,” but he now has football friends in Wellington that he likes hanging out with.
Asked about his future he talks of Europe, singling out Series A in Italy. “I like to aim high,” he says.
Meanwhile Davi Dore moved to Southland from Brazil in 2019. He started playing football at a very young age in Brazil, a football mad country where the game is played everywhere, playing for his school and club.
When the family arrived in Southland in 2019 he joined the Old Boys AFC and successfully trialled for Southland and Southern United, becoming part of the Southern United Academy.
The trials and tribulations of 2020 caused Davi plenty of frustration as lockdown made it a very difficult year. However, this year he has been selected for New Zealand Football’s Regional Training Centre and he is highly motivated to achieve more. “I am really enjoying my football in New Zealand and I am really happy in Southland.
Davi and his family are also keen to trial for the Ole and Phoenix academies while long term Davi has a goal of playing in the Champions League. “That would be really good,” he says.