Cinnaminson’s Pereira is reaping the rewards of his time
CINNAMINSON – Josh Pereira was a quick study, on guitar.
Six or seven months after picking him up for the first time, the Cinnaminson junior forward is ready to pronounce “pretty well”.
Football was a different proposition, however. It’s a lifelong commitment, for a player who started playing at the age of 4, and “pretty well” is a destination that has taken years to reach.
They also have a few similarities, however.
“Lots of discipline,” Pereira said. “You have to work on both. I have to practice them every day. Now with school I come here every day for 2.5 hours, to practice, then I come home and do my homework, and after that I practice guitar for about 30 minutes.
“Usually when I started it was an hour, but now it’s about 30 minutes.”
It’s not just a matter of time, but how to use it.
He obviously optimized his time on the training ground.
Pereira scored his sixth goal of the season and assisted another Wednesday, as Cinnaminson, ranked ninth in the South Jersey Mean 15, beat Moorestown, 2-1, in a meeting of the Burlington County Scholastic League sides .
The assist came in the 14th minute. Pereira took the ball in the left corner, beat a defender and sent a perfect pass to the far post, where Nathan Weick waited to bring it home.
The goal came about six minutes later. Noah Huber cleared the ball from the back to where Pereira was waiting in midfield. He rounded two defenders and narrowly avoided a sliding tackle by a third before placing his rolling shot just inside the 18.
“I saw a person and just hit them behind him,” Pereira said. “Another one came in and I just touched him around him, I shot and he came in. I train almost every day, just by touching the ball around the cones – I always do, so it’s really nothing.
“I love this game. I play it every day and I know what I can do to score a goal.
Others learn slowly. It was Pereira’s sixth goal this season.
“It’s an absolute nightmare for the other top teams,” said Cinnaminson coach Matt Digney. “A strong and powerful player with good football spirit and good football ability. It has pretty much all three attributes that you are looking for. Sometimes we just have to set him up a little bit up there, but when he plays on his own, he’s a dangerous, dangerous player.
Like he’s playing guitar – it’s not just solos. Sometimes you help steer the pace. Other times, you provide harmony. The best do not need direction to distinguish which is necessary.
“Sometimes he would hold the ball for us, and other times he would take it on his own,” Digney said. “It’s part of what we’re trying to do, in terms of our game. If it’s simple, it’s more dangerous. He played a real smart and simple game. I think he played a good game today.
John A. Lewis is sports editor for the Burlington County Times, the Courier Post and the Daily Journal. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ JohnLewis19. Please consider supporting local journalism with a subscription.