Wellington Phoenix recruit Reece Caira is hoping he can play more than a part in a successful team this season.
Wellington Phoenix recruit Reece Caira is hoping he can play more than a part in a successful team this season. Having already spent more time on the bench than he would have liked in his young career, the defender is determined to carve out a starting place in a promising Phoenix side.
Caira, who's been capped by the Young Socceroos ten times, moved to Wellington after being part of the Wanderers squad that was so successful in their inaugural campaign. While he thoroughly enjoyed every moment of their breakout season, the fact that he only played in two matches led to the hunt for more first team opportunities.
“It was great to be part of the first season and how well they did,” said Caira. “Obviously I want to be playing regularly so it (the move across the Tasman) was an easy decision to make.”
The 20-year-old is not averse to travelling in order to further his career, having come through the Aston Villa youth academy after he was picked up from Blacktown City. He made the move to England with his family but endured a frustrating time at first, as it took over a year for his international clearance to come through.
“It was a big learning curve for me,” he said. "I was playing with some big time players - some of the best in British football.
“Unfortunately it didn-t work out but you take it all in your stride.”
Having been with the Phoenix for ten weeks now, Caira said he was enjoying life in Wellington and that the biggest culture shock was literally the shocks he-s experienced.
“The biggest surprise was the earthquakes they get over here," he said. "We've had about three big ones since I've been here.
“At first I was panicking yet I seemed to be the only one. I'm use to them now.”
In terms of life under Ernie Merrick, Caira said he has enjoyed the confidence the two-time A-League premiership coach has installed in his game. The left back revealed he's also learning a lot from his teammates.
“He-s definitely brought a lot of positive energy to the club and the message has been clear - to play good football without fear.
“The senior fellas have all been really good. I-ve been playing behind Paul Ifill down the left flank and we-re starting to develop a really good understanding of how we play on the field.”
While missing out on a lot of game time in recent times, Caira is philosophical about the journey his football path has taken and is looking to the future. It-s not a case of making up for lost time, rather Caira wants to make the most of the time he-s got ahead of him.
“I-m still only 20-years-old so my aim is to stay fit and continue playing at the highest level possible,” he said. “I want to have a long and successful career so I'm still chasing the dream.”