Tonight is a big night for James Musa. The 18-year-old defender from Wanganui will make his professional football debut for the Wellington Phoenix in their home match against the Melbourne Victory. The Dom-Post reports:
Ricki Herbert will take one of the biggest punts of his coaching career by handing Whanganui teenager James Musa his Wellington Phoenix debut at Westpac Stadium tonight.
Normally a centre back, Musa will play left back against a Melbourne Victory side including A-League MVP Carlos Hernandez, the competition's all-time leading goalscorer Archie Thompson and rising star Robbie Kruse.
The usually conservative Herbert had other options, including shifting Manny Muscat or Vince Lia out of midfield and recalling Simon Elliott, but he has chosen to gamble.
A friend of ours is heavily involved in local football, and his opinion is that Musa is a star in the making. Born in England, he has played almost all of his football in the River City having moved here at the age of six. His father Memo was CEO of Good Health Wanganui, and his other Mandy is a mainstay of women's football here.
We'll have a close eye on James Musa's debut tonight. He was spotted at a national age-grade torunament last year, offered a six-week trial with the 'Nix and showed enough to earn his first professional contract. Bin Sigmund's misfortune is Musa's gain, and we wish him every success tonight.