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Wellington Phoenix starlet Rojas excited on eve of finals

Wellington Phoenix young gun Marco Rojas is eagerly anticipating his first A-League finals campaign as a regular member of the senior team.

The 19-year old winger has made 16 appearances for the New Zealand club this term, starting seven of eight in the New Year, and has become an integral part of Ricki Herbert's line-up.

Ahead of tomorrow night's elimination final against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium, Rojas was excited about taking part in the playoffs with the Phoenix and was planning to continue in the same vein which has seen him become one of the competition's hottest prospects.

"It's very exciting. I can't wait to get on the pitch really," Rojas said.

"I used to get it (close attention from defenders) quite a bit playing in the lower leagues as well so it's nothing new.

"I sort of expected it to come straight away but it's taken a while for it to happen. I'm prepared that they know a bit more about who I am and how I play, so they've got a bit more of an advantage than they had before.

"But it doesn't really change how I prepare for each game. I just try and play my normal game and play quickly and try to get away from them and the challenges."

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante is expecting Rojas to step up and keep playing the way he has in the past few months.

"If you've seen our last 10 goals, he's set up maybe nine of them. He's very important for us," he said.

"All over the world the smaller players tend to get butchered a lot. He is important for us and we've got to make sure he gets all the protection he needs.

"I think he will be all right. He's a great kid, a great talent, and these are the big occasions that footballers love to excel in.

"We've just got to make sure we get around him, make sure he is comfortable and he really just needs to go out there and enjoy it."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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