Jackson Manuel makes his New Zealand Premiership debut at the age of 14

Jackson Manuel made his debut in the top division of New Zealand football last week – at the age of 14.

The Wellington Phoenix Reserves midfielder became the youngest ever player in the New Zealand Premiership when he came on as a 65th minute substitute.

He could also be one of the youngest players in world to be playing top-division football having been born in 2003.

The youngster appeared alongside players with A League experience including Logan Rogerson, Alex Rufer and goalkeeper Keegan Smith.

However, the match was not all good news for Manuel as when he entered the field for Sam Sutton. Wellington Phoenix Reserves were already 5-1 down to high-flying Eastern Suburbs.

They went on to lose 7-1 and are now second from bottom of the division.

Manuel’s debut is a record-breaker and he looks to have a bright future ahead of him in the game.

Fellow Phoenix Reserves player Liberato Cacace made his debut for Wellington Phoenix in the A League when the 17-year-old defender played in the 4-0 defeat to Sydney FC.

The New Zealand u20 international is now aiming for more first team exposure and the chance to earn the All Whites a place at the next u20 World Cup when qualifying begins this year.


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