IT WAS a proud moment for Stanthorpe when Patrick Theodore, better known as Patrick Theo, made his debut for the Brisbane Roar in the A-League.
The 17-year-old, who had his first kick of the ball in the Stanthorpe Junior Soccer competition, ran on late in the second half during the Roar's match against Newcastle last Sunday.
"I knew there'd be a change coming up, and I'd been warming up since the 55-minute mark," he said.
"There was me and another sub and I was hoping it'd be me.
"The coach came up to me and said, 'I need you to go score a goal and get in behind the defence'.
"I wasn't really nervous. I was more excited. I was ready to go."
He may not have found the net, but Patrick did himself and his family proud - not least of all his grandfather Billy Theo, former owner of the Regal Cafe in Stanthorpe.
"He doesn't have a mobile, so I had to wait ... I called him that night and he was shouting through the phone. He was nuts," Patrick laughed.
"He's been there at every one of my games since I was young, so it was good he got to see me make my debut.
"My family was going to come down, but we weren't sure if I'd get a run. They were definitely watching it on TV."
The striker/attacking midfielder played a few years of junior football in Stanthorpe before relocating to Brisbane and being scouted by Roar U18 youth coach John Syme at age 14.
Patrick quickly found his feet with the youth team, where he came across a friendly face - fellow Stanthorpe footballer Cameron Crestani, who now has an injury contract with the U18 side.
"Cam and I played together in Stanthorpe and we ended up playing in the youth team together last year," he said.
"He was actually my next door neighbour in Stanthorpe."
Patrick started training with the A-League squad at 16, and under a year later has become the second-youngest player to debut for the Roar - only weeks behind Tommy Oar, now a Socceroo.
Will the young star follow Oar's path to fame?
"Hopefully," he laughed.
"I don't want to say that too soon."
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