• Melbourne City's Anthony Caceres (Getty Images)
Former Central Coast Mariners star and now Melbourne City midfielder Anthony Caceres has found from experience that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. He told The World Game about that - and how he was a lousy cricketer as a kid.
By
Greg Prichard

17 Mar 2017 - 12:51 PM  UPDATED 17 Mar 2017 - 12:51 PM

TWG: Are you and Helen Petinos, from the Western Sydney Wanderers, still in a relationship?

AC: We are, yeah, still going strong. She had a good season in the W-League, played a fair bit. We're still together, doing the long-distance thing.

TWG: How difficult is that?

AC: State to State has its complications, but I guess it makes it that much better when you do get time to spend together. It's something we had to adjust to, but I think we've come to terms with it.

TWG: Since the W-League season ended have you been able to spend some more time together in Melbourne, or does Helen have other things she is committed to in Sydney?

AC: She's a full-time primary school teacher as well, so she's under the pump with school-work and all of that, but we're spending as much time together on weekends as we can. If we don't have an away game she's able to jump on a plane and come down.

TWG: How has the Melbourne City experience been for you?

AC: Fantastic. Football aside, it has given me the chance to live on my own and look more deeply into the things I'm interested in, and when it comes to the football it has given me every chance to improve as a player with the facilities and having a great team around me. I've really enjoyed my time here and made some friends for life.

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TWG: Have you learned how to cook?

AC: I've learned how to prepare a meal. I wouldn't call it cooking because it doesn't really qualify, but I can chop up a few veggies and boil them and put a few things together, cook a steak or something like that. Sometimes I'll go out and get a bit of takeaway with (City teammate) Osama Malik - obviously healthy choices.

TWG: What is it like in Melbourne, do you feel like you're in a constant battle with Melbourne Victory for the hearts and minds of football fans there?

AC: It's a big rivalry, as we know. Victory have obviously been around a lot longer than we have and we're here to make our mark on the league and that will only come with success, so we're hoping the more success we have and the better the team performs, the more the fans will get behind us.

TWG: Are you feeling that already?

AC: Oh, definitely. We won the FFA Cup this year, but we don't want to just be happy with that. Obviously we want to go as far as we can in the league and hopefully win a trophy and more and more fans will start to catch on.

TWG: Have you got a lot of friends or do you like to keep to a small circle?

AC: I try to get along with as many people as possible, but I guess when it comes to spending time hanging around with friends, going out to dinner and stuff, I've got a fairly small circle. Osama Malik is a good friend of mine. He lives alone as well, so we'll give each other a buzz and say 'what are you up to, do you want to head out and get something to eat?' Luke Brattan is very welcoming to his home. He offers to cook for a few of the lads and we hang out there. I find myself hanging around with Ossie, Luke and Nick Fitzgerald a fair bit, but I also get along very well with the Spanish-speaking boys at the club. My Uruguayan heritage means I find myself acting as a translator for them a fair bit.

TWG: Are you the type of person who still asks his parents for advice about big decisions you've got to make in your life?

AC: Oh, definitely. Obviously I like to think for myself and make my own decisions in the end, but your parents have a lot of experience and you've got to value what they have to say. My parents have been role models for me my whole life, so I respect their opinion.

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TWG: As a Sydney person living in Melbourne, have you been tempted to go along to an AFL game or are you not interested?

AC: I've actually been given free tickets, but it doesn't really interest me, to be honest.

TWG: Were there any other sports you tried as a kid?

AC: No, I was all football. I played cricket in Year Four at school and I was by far the worst player, so that was that. You should have seen me trying to bowl - I couldn't land it on the pitch. It has always been football for me.

TWG: In a world where football didn't exist, what else would you see yourself doing?

AC: I'd look at opening a cafe, or maybe a bar. I'm really into my music, and I love live music, so I'd have to have a stage where people could perform. A place where people could have something to eat, or have a few drinks and watch a good show. I love a bit of R&B and soul music.

TWG: Where in the world do you want to go that you haven't been yet?

AC: I've got a lot of places on my list. I'd love to go to Argentina, to experience the way people live football there. To me, they're the most passionate in the world when it comes to the sport. Just to see it and admire it would be great. Parts of Europe, like Spain and Greece, I find interesting and I wouldn't mind checking out some parts of Africa as well.

TWG: Finally, what are the most important things to you in life?

AC: The most important thing would be happiness and I think that comes from having the people you love most around you. If you're happy, you don't need much more, simple as that.