A nine-year-old Auckland boy who was left in tears after being verbally abused by the father of a rival football team member has a message for fired-up parents on the sideline - "quiet down a bit".
Cailean Hamilton received an apology from the parent in question, but told Seven Sharp it didn't help because he already didn't want to play after what happened.
"So before the final, a kid from the finals team we were versing, his dad came up to me and said if I went anywhere near his son he'd come and take me off the pitch himself," Cailean recalled.
His mother, Katie Hamilton, said apparently the man "was holding a bit of a grudge from seven months earlier, where they had a friendly. And Cailean was trying to save the ball - because this child was a striker and Cailean often defends - and he nearly elbowed him."
Cailean said when the man spoke to him that way, "I was worried that he would come and hurt me. And all I wanted to do was play soccer like I normally do, without being threatened."
Ms Hamilton said her son was too upset to go on the field and the coach had to make him go ahead and play.
Cailean had a direct message for parents on the sideline who have too much to say for themselves.
"I'd say just to quiet down a bit more in games, 'cause sometimes it makes their child feel worse, and they might not play as well as they could," he said.
His mum says parents need to encourage their children in their sport.
"As a parent you want your child to find something that they absolutely love to do and carry on with that," Ms Hamilton said.
Ms Hamilton said at the time of the incident, the coach told the father involved to step away or the team would forfeit the game, and the club later banned him from further games.
New Zealand's five biggest sporting codes have recently said they're making changes to children's sport so it's not all about winning.