Toure brothers lighting up the A-League

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Al Hassan Toure’s 15-year-old brother Mohamed Toure has become the youngest goalscorer in A-League history with his 84th-minute strike to sink the Central Coast Mariners 2-0 at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.

Fresh off his eight-minute debut against the Brisbane Roar last week and the reward of a three-year scholarship contract mid-week, Toure was not phased by the publicity and his coach Gertjan Verbeek only had to tell him two things before he came on and scored.

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’’I told him to use your speed and your power,’’ Verbeek explained.

’’You don’t have to tell him lots because he has just arrived and had just a few trainings with the first-team squad so he has to learn a lot.

’’He can’t learn all of that in just a few minutes because he is also excited to get on.

’’His friends and his family are probably in the stadium so I think everything that you say is going in the left ear and out the right one.

’’I said good luck, use your speed and your power. That’s the only thing.’’

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The previous youngest scorer was Tommy Oar, who claimed the record at 17 years and 18 days old when he scored for Brisbane Roar in 2008.

Mariners boss Alan Stajcic was less complimentary of Toure and preferred to single out the contribution of George Blackwood – whose wonder strike handed the Reds the lead in the 82nd minute.

’’Blackwood had half a chance and put it in the top corner – that’s the difference,’’ he said.

’’Look Mohamed Toure came on and was good but it was just a moment of magic from Blackwood that really turned the game for them late on.’’

Toure is just another one of Verbeek’s youngsters that have impressed in the Reds squad this season and the coach was asked how he managed to spot his talent considering he did not make a single Y-League start.

’’Sometimes I needed an attacker on the training pitch and we played also friendly games on the training pitch so I saw a lot of potential,’’ he said.

’’When you make a good impression on me on the training, do your best and I see that Jordan Elsey and Michael Jakobsen struggle when Mohamed is playing then you have some qualities to show also in the A-League.

’’Now it’s important that he trains hard and uses the moments he has in the squad with us.

“Probably he will play most in the youth NPL team but we will see.’’

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As for staying humble and keeping grounded, Mohamed has his bother – who knows all about being a breakout A-League star.

Verbeek mentioned the age difference between the pair and reiterated that Mohamed has to be patient.

’’I explained to Mohamed what it is to play in the A-League and what it is to be a professional,’’ he said.

’’That is not only to train hard but to also how you eat, how you sleep and what lifestyle you have.

’’I told him also that he is not the youngest player in the A-League because he is now playing NPL.

’’His brother was 19 when he started playing in the first-team squad so Mohamed has four years to go and he has to be patient.’’

Feature image credit: Mark Brake/Getty Images

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Euan James
Lover of all things football. Covering Adelaide United in 2019/20 for TFS!