From NPL to A-League: Toure hopes to inspire future generations

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The 19-year-old burst onto the scene in the FFA Cup, scoring four goals in just four matches – but where does Al Hassan Toure find his inspiration?

After moving to Australia in 2004 from West Africa, the youngster didn’t watch any A-League football growing up. He put his head down and concentrated on his development with his childhood club – Croydon Kings. Although there was one player who always stood out for Toure and that’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I look up to Ronaldo…he reminds me of myself because we both came from troubled backgrounds and we both worked hard to get to where we are now. He has the support of his friends and family and his work ethic is amazing,” he said.

“How he treats people on and off the pitch is something I admire. The way he loves the game and the passion he has for the game has influenced me.”

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Toure was just four when he arrived in Adelaide after his parents had fled war-torn Liberia and Guinea in search of a better life. Ronaldo had a huge effect on the 19-year-old’s childhood and that’s something he hopes he can emulate.

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“I want to have the same effect on people…I want to show that you can do it. That you don’t have to be from good families, anyone can make it,” he said.

“All you need to have is a passion for the game and a desire to play football. That’s why I want to be a role model to kids back home in Africa. I want to show that, even when you have tough times, you can always make it. It’s a dream and you have to follow your dreams.’’

The young striker’s transition into the first-team squad has been quite remarkable. From the NPL to an A-League contract in the space of months. Toure credits his teammates for his seamless transition.

In particular captain Michael Jakobsen and his teammates Mirko Boland and Riley McGree.

“They have really helped me because they are always looking after the young kids, trying to make them improve. They have been giving me advice on how I should play,” he said.

“It’s like a battle on the training ground with those guys. They encourage me to play my game and they share their experiences with me because they have been up there. Hopefully, I can play as good as them.”

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Much like his hero Ronaldo, Toure spent most of his career as a winger, before being deployed as a number nine on FFA Cup debut in the absence of the injured George Blackwood and Kristian Opseth.

The Guinean born speedsters heroics have been the story of Gertjan Verbeek’s reign so far. It didn’t take long for the Dutchman to lock Toure in for the next two seasons in the hope of turning him into the man Adelaide need upfront.

We have seen flashes of raw talent and a clinical edge that the squad has been lacking. Should he begin to find the net regularly, the A-League will be put on notice.

Toure will be looking to impress when Adelaide kicks off their campaign against Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium on October 11.

Feature Image Credit: Jordan Trombetta (Adelaide United)

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