Football has always been a way of life for Matt Bonasera. His father instrumental in his introduction to the game at an early age.
“From the day I could walk I had a soccer ball glued to my feet,” Matt told us.
“As a toddler I was training with my father in our backyard learning dribbling skills and the basics of the game. At four years old I was enrolled in a program called Grasshopper Soccer which started me off as a footballer.”
From these early beginnings, his love for football only grew. He asked his father if he could join a team so he could share this passion with his friends and supplement the private training he was already undertaking. This would prove to be a great decision for his development as he would be introduced to coaches who would impact him greatly.
“I joined my first team (Tuart Hill Soccer Club) when I was six years old because I wanted to play football with my friends. Every day I was improving because I wanted to learn.
“I would train most days with my dad and we would cover all aspects of the game.
“I was enrolled in “the Glory Zone” (now Pro Football Training) where I met two great coaches, Mark Lee and Sean D’arcy who had an impact on my development, teaching my how to conduct myself and have a professional attitude on and off the pitch.
“Moving to Perth Soccer Club in 2006 saw me being coached by Gavin Tait. He took me under his wing and made me a better player and person, I am thankful for that.”
The honours would soon follow for this talented player who sees himself as a winger but is happy to play in any position in the outfield. Showing respect and maturity beyond his years, the teenager is quick to acknowledge those who helped him get to where he is.
“I represented Western Australia at the Australian National Futsal Competition in the under 12′s and 13′s competitions respectively where I was again coached by Sean D’arcy.
“Before I went to Europe (September) I was playing senior football at ECU Joondalup. Coaches Manny Camara (Coerver Coaching) and Paul Wozny (Balcatta SC) also influenced my development as a player. I most definitely wouldn’t be the player I am today without the things I have learnt from these coaches.
“My biggest influence though, has been my mother and father for giving the chance to follow my dreams and help me become who I am.”
The self-described ‘two-footed technical player” who is “composed on the ball” and loves “helping his team by contributing to attack and defence” was scouted by the Genova International School of Soccer. It was from here that his journey would take him to the GISS residency program in Italy. After spending three months there training , he was sent on trial to CF Badalona where he impressed enough to sign a short-term deal which will expire in June.
“So far this experience has been amazing,” Bonasera said.
“My first week training was difficult as I was trying to adapt to the speed and style of the Spanish game, as well as trying to get to know my team mates with the little Spanish I know.
“The lifestyle is enjoyable. Being on my own has taught me how to grow up and take proper care of myself which is an important thing in life. The people are nice and they’ve helped me settle in.
“Now that I’ve settled, I’ve adapted to the game well and I’m receiving great feedback from my team mates and coaches.”
CF Badalona is a historic club in the Catalonia region and alongside Barcelona and Espanyol is amongst the oldest. The first team competes in Segunda Division B which is the third tier in Spanish football. They are building a new stadium set to be ready in 2017 with the hope of bigger and better things to come. Bonasera plays for the U19s team that come up against some of the best young talent in Spain.
“The team I’m with are the Juvenil A. We play in the Division De Honor Juvenil (Group 3),” the young West Aussie explained.
“The Division De Honor Juvenil is the most prestigious youth league in the country and we play against FC Barcelona, RCD Espanyol, RCD Mallorca and other clubs in the Catalonia region.
“The top two teams from each group (7 groups total) enter the Copa Del Rey. We are currently sitting third behind Barcelona and Espanyol with six games remaining.”
The competition alone provides a great platform for Bonasera to hone his craft and as he told us “there are a few players on loan from the Barcelona and Espanyol youth systems at the club” so there’s always a chance to impress those watching. Although the level-headed youngster has more modest goals in mind at the moment.
“My short term ambition is to secure a contract extension and remain playing high level football in Spain/Europe.”
Although, his long-term ambitions are a little grander.
“My long term ambition is to play in one of the world’s biggest leagues and represent my country (Australia) in a World Cup.”