Words: ACFC Media
Tuesday 9 October 2018
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Maro Bonsu-Maro was a man on a mission - the Central United and Auckland City FC youth product was desperate to land himself a place in the Navy Blues senior squad for the season ahead.
The Cook Islands international lined-up in the Puaikura and Tupapa Maraerenga sides that competed in the OFC Champions League preliminary and group stages over the past two seasons but now finds himself rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the region.
"I played in the group stages with Tupapa and while I had a lot of fun in that team we didn't have enough quality to seriously challenge for the quarter-final place. We did well just to win the preliminaries," he said.
"I've played for for Central United for a long time and the relationship between the club and Auckland City FC is obviously very close.
"We didn't have a particularly great season results-wise at Central United but I was quite happy to get a call from Ivy Vela and then the coach to come along and train with the first team here at City," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com
Bonsu-Maro plays as an attacker through the middle or out wide
"The intensity is incredible at training - we train six times per week and it's taking a bit to get used to that after training three times per week with Central United. The quality of players here is amazing - everyone has a good first touch and that motivates me to play even better.
"It's good to be on the other side of things working with quality players because it's a lot harder when you're taking a spanking as an underdog. I've always wanted to be a part of a top team and hopefully this can be the start.
Bonsu-Maro, like his counterpart, Yousif Al Kalisy, were on trial but either didn't know whether or not they would be offered a position in the final squad until late September.
"It was nerve-wracking not knowing what was going to happen but I have kept working hard and eventually the good news came through that I would be part of Ramon Tribulietx's plans."
Name: Maro Bonsu-Maro
Born: Auckland, New Zealand
International: Cook Islands U-17, U-20
Sun 21 Oct 2018, kick-off 2pm NZST