Cosgrove off to Malaysia with NZ age-group team

POTENTIAL: Oliver Cosgrove will be on his way to Malaysia next month with the New Zealand Under-15 football team. Photo: Deane Cosgrove.

Oliver Cosgrove is more comfortable letting his football talents to do the talking – but he’s trying to be more vocal on the pitch.

The central defender will be part of the New Zealand under-15 team which will play in Malaysia next month.

The 14-year-old, who lives in Rolleston, plays for Nomads under-15 and St Thomas’ first XI.

He has played in Selwyn and Canterbury age-group team’s since age nine, and has made it into Canterbury teams in both football and futsal.

“I like being the organiser. I just have to work on my communication and telling my teammates what I’m seeing, ” he said.

Oliver, whose father Deane is a striker for High School Old Boys, said he models his play on former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand.

He is one of two year 10 students in the St Thomas’ first XI which is unbeaten in the Christchurch secondary school competition.

“I’m really enjoying the style of play. It’s more physical than I’m used to and by playing against older kids, I feel it’s making me a better player, ” he said.

Oliver is the only Cantabrian in the 18-player New Zealand under-15 squad.

The team will play various school and age-group teams in Malaysia.

Oliver said he would love to play in the English Premier League one day but right now his goal is to get a college scholarship in the United States.