Parents visit from Canada inspires Dario's derby winner

Raith Rovers on loan winger Dario Zanatta has revealed the family inspiration behind his Fife derby strike.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 2:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 2:42 pm
Raith's Dario Zanatta looks for his parents in the crowd after firing in the winner against East Fife - Fife Photo Agency

Sitting in the stands were his parents, Andrea and Dante Zanatta, who made the long trip from Canada to see their son play at Bayview.

And Dario delivered the perfect gift, scoring the match winner in the 79th minute as Raith claimed three points with a 3-2 win over East Fife.

“My parents are over at the moment so it’s really nice to play in front of them,” he said.

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“They don’t get to see me much so to score in front of them makes it even better.

“They’ve been over once before but it hasn’t been for a year or so. It was my mum’s birthday a few days ago also, so it makes it even better for her.”

While most young Canadians dream of playing in the NHL, for Zanatta, football is in his DNA.

“My father used to play and is a coach himself, so I’ve always been brought up around it and carried on from there,” he said.

“Canada’s main sport is ice hockey so it’s a little bit out of the norm, but soccer, as we call it over there, is getting quite popular and it’s something I’ve always done.

“I was never interested in hockey, it was always about football. I thought the best route for myself was to come over to Europe, learn and get better, and I’ve been here for about two and half years now.”

Zanatta has emerged as a key player in recent weeks after initially struggling to break into the Rovers starting 11 following his season-long loan move from Hearts in August.

“The start when I got here was a little tough and I wasn’t playing much, but the last two months have been going well,” he said.

“I’ve been playing a lot more and I feel as though I’m helping the team now.

“I like to run at players and create things, and I feel I can do it more, so if keep playing well then hopefully I can stay in the team.”

With Raith neck and neck with Ayr in the title race, Zanatta’s winner could prove crucial.

“It’s a massive three points, and it keeps our little run going right now,” he said.

“It’s always nice to score in a derby, especially away, and three points around this time of year is very important.

“Hopefully we can pile the pressure on Ayr.”