Back up Robbie Fowler and step aside Alan Shearer, Hawera's Michael Hipp knows his way to the goal.
The 9-year-old St Joseph's forward picked up a double hat-trick – scoring three goals in each half – against Hawera 1 in their ninth-grade clash on Saturday.
The one-man rampage took the youngster to 22 goals from five games this season, with Hipp now adjusting his target to reach 30 in 2012, surpassing the 25 goals scored last year.
"I've done better before; I scored eight goals last season [in the] first game."
Scoring his first goal two minutes into the contest and getting the hat-trick by halftime, Hipp initially thought his St Joseph's coaches, who include father Toby, would move him out of the striker position.
However, he was asked if he could use the wind conditions to bang in a few more.
"I would have to put some of the credit on one of our team, Sean Colville, he just smashed it up and gives me long passes."
Eight-year-old back Colville punched a hard shot forward, which hit the post and saw Hipp dive with his knees to send home his sixth – and best – goal.
"Everyone wanted a high-five."
In the finish, St Joseph's won the game 7-0.
However, it was worth noting Hawera 1 did have several younger players in their side.
As well as his father, Hipp has two older brothers who play basketball and do not hesitate to keep the talented footballer firmly grounded.
One of them started yelling out "bully" as Hipp once again approached the poor Hawera goalkeeper.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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