Hot on the heels of news that Wairarapa United have signed Chilean stars Jorge de la Torre and Jonatan Almendra for their 2013 Central League campaign comes word that one of New Zealand's most promising prospects will also be part of their squad.
Alex Rufer, 16, is a son of Shane Rufer, who played eight times for the All Whites between 1979 and 1985, and nephew of Wynton Rufer, the Oceania Footballer of the Century and widely acclaimed as the most skilful player this country has produced.
A member of the New Zealand under-17s last year, Alex Rufer is a midfielder playing for YoungHeart Manawatu in the national league. Despite his age, Wairarapa United coach Phil Keinzley sees him challenging strongly for a regular starting spot in the Central League squad.
"He's already proved himself capable of holding his own against the best players in this country, so I can't imagine his age being any problem at all," Keinzley said. "Technically, he would probably match up to anybody we've got. He's got a very high skill level."