Me and My Car: Maurico Rojas
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MAURICIO ROJAS, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF HIBISCUS COAST FOOTBALL CLUB
What car do you drive?
I have two Honda Streams, one for my family and one for work. My work car is a 2013 model. The Stream is like a big station wagon. It has a big back seat you can put forward and I still have space for my children. I keep car seats fitted to the car but I still have room for the balls, nets, and everything else.
What do you always have in your car?
Let me start from the back. I have football nets, three bags of footballs, sizes 5, 4 and 3, I have a foldable goal, bibs, cones, and a pram. In the second row I have the two car seats for my daughters and a couple of bags of spare clothes for me, some bibs, some folders and my work bag with my laptop. And food, I always carry that in my car as I don’t always have time to stop and eat. If I have nuts, oat cakes, muesli bars, water, I know I will be okay for the whole day.
Who else is allowed to drive your car?
I am always driving it.
First car you owned?
It is an interesting question because I am from Colombia and I lived with my mum until I went to the UK when I was about 26. I always used her car so I didn’t have a car. When I got married we bought a family car but I have never had my own car, it’s always a car I share with my family.
I would buy the Aston Martin Rapide, I love that car. I drove one when I was at Fulham. I was working in the academy but because I spoke different languages I was called to the first team to be a translator, I helped them to settle in and find their feet in London. I would go out with those guys and they loved that car as well. The noise, the power, the looks inside, it is really, really nice. It has always been my dream car.
Favourite car colour?
Blue. My favourite football team has a blue strip. Millonarios, it’s a big club in Colombia. Who taught you to drive? It was a cousin of mine and that was when I was about 10 or 11 years old in a little town in Colombia. I felt like I was free, driving my dad’s car all around, looking like I was owning the world.
Most memorable road trip?
Overseas, I love the French Riviera. In New Zealand, I like the South Island.
If you could go anywhere, in any car, with anyone?
I would drive my Aston Martin in Germany with Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United coach and manager. Definitely Germany, amazing roads, and Sir Alex because he is one of the best. Because of my profession, coaching coaches, coaching kids as well, it would be a long list of questions I would have for him. It would be a long, interesting drive.
Do you enjoy driving or would you rather be a passenger?
In Colombia I would rather be a passenger but in New Zealand I enjoy driving. It is completely different, after Colombia, nothing is more manic than that.
What do you listen to in your car?
Salsa, which is the music that inspires me, relaxes me, keeps me happy.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
I like to go to Piha with my wife and kids and then eat at one of the restaurants or have a coffee in West Auckland.
What’s your take on Auckland’s traffic?
Traffic here is not really congested, a little bit, but it is moving and you have a nice landscape to look at. If the transport system is improved, we will be the first people to leave the car at home and jump on the bus. But the routes of the buses don’t go everywhere. And the train line doesn’t go over the bridge; that is a big hassle.