Who is your A-League club’s youngest ever goalscorer and where are they now?

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Last week Mohamed Toure made history by becoming the first 15-year-old to find the back of the net in A-League history, but what do the long-term fortunes of each club’s teen sensations suggest his future holds?

Here each A-League club’s youngest ever goalscorer (ranked from oldest to youngest) and a rundown of how their careers have panned out since bursting onto the scene.

Western United – Aaron Calver

Age: 24 years 342 days

Fixture: 1-1 draw vs Western Sydney Wanderers, December 20 2019

Much has been said about the experienced squad constructed Mark Rudan at the A-League’s new-boys and unfortunately their record books do little to dispel that critique.

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Aaron Calver was handed his debut by Frank Farina as a 16-year-old back in 2012 and went on to make 50 appearances for Sydney FC over six seasons, winning two championships before making the shift down south where he has enjoyed a relatively consistent season as part of a back three and in an unfamiliar wing-back role.

United’s second youngest is 26-year-old Connor Pain and third 27-year-old Kwabena Appiah – but the club have a few promising talents on the books and the season is not quite done yet so we are happy to grant them a little more time to make their mark.

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Melbourne City – Eli Babalj

Age: 18 years 180 days

Fixture: 2-3 loss vs Adelaide United, August 20 2010

Back in Melbourne Heart’s first two seasons, a fresh-faced Eli Babalj emerged with a decent return of 11 goals in 35 appearances.

The teenager’s form earned him two Socceroos caps in the East Asia Cup (where he scored two goals) and a move to Serbian powerhouse Red Star Belgrade soon followed.

However since 2012 he has failed to make more than 15 first team appearances for any of the nine clubs he has represented and was last seen playing for Chainat Hornbill in the Thai League Two.

Second placed Marc Marino has been prolific for NPL South Australia club Campbelltown City in recent times and in third sits Curtis Good who after a few disappointing campaigns in the United Kingdom returned to City in 2018.

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Newcastle Jets – James Holland

Age: 18 years 152 days

Fixture: 2-1 win vs Wellington Phoenix, October 14 2007

Holland signed for Newcastle on a short-term injury replacement deal and almost immediately repaid the Jet’s faith by becoming what was at the time the youngest goalscorer the A-League had seen.

He has since enjoyed a relatively successful career in Europe plying his trade in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria, where he currently represents LASK.

In that time he captained the Young Socceroos and was included in the 2014 World Cup squad. In total he boasts 15 Socceroos caps to date.

Two players still on Newcastle’s books – Ben Kantarovksi and Angus Thurgate – round out the Novocastrian’s top three.

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Wellington Phoenix – Ben Waine

Age: 18 years 145 days

Fixture: 2-3 loss vs Melbourne City, November 3 2019

In a match earlier this season that was overshadowed by Louis Fenton’s post-game antics, Ben Waine made history as the Nix’s youngest ever scorer.

He pipped teammate Liberato Cacace’s record which was set only eight months earlier.

In third sits A-League veteran Kosta Barbarouses, closely followed by now-Bayern Munich starlet Sarpreet Singh in fourth.

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Melbourne Victory – Christopher Cristaldo

Age: 18 years 67 days

Fixture 2-3 loss vs Perth Glory, March 23 2013

Christopher Cristaldo will be a forgotten figure for many having only made four appearances senior appearances for the Victory, during which he registered an 89th minute equaliser which was dramatically cancelled out by a Perth Glory winner deep into stoppage time.

He has since embarked on a journey-man like career in the NPL Victoria where he currently represents Moreland City FC in the NPL 2.

Second placed Christian Theoharous is showing promise in Germany with Borussia Mönchengladbach II, while on the other hand third placed Kaz Patafta announced his retirement at the age of 28 to become the general manager of Laos Premier League club Lanexang.

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Western Sydney Wanderers – Liam Youlley

Age: 18 years 64 days

Result: 1-2 loss vs Perth Glory, April 25 2015

Liam Youlley may have only made two appearances for the Wanderers first team but in that time the midfielder managed to etch himself in the club’s history books.

In July 2017 he secured a move to Maritzburg United in the South African Premier Division but has since returned home with Marconi Stallions.

In second place sits Wellington’s Jaushua Sotirio and in third is Lachlan Scott, who last season returned to the NPL with Luke Wilkshire’s Wollongong Wolves.

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Sydney FC – Kofi Danning

Age: 17 years 315 days

Fixture: 1-0 win vs Wellington Phoenix, January 11 2009

Kofi Danning won many plaudits after bursting onto the scene for Sydney FC back in 2009 with his blistering pace and clinical touch in front of goal.

After earning himself a move abroad to Belgian club C.S. Vise, injuries cruelly disrupted the winger’s progress and led him to return home with the Brisbane Roar.

The Ghanian-born attacker has since enjoyed stints in the Queensland, Victorian and Capital NPL competitions where he boasts a goalscoring record of 18 goals in 46 games with Canberra FC.

Danning’s record is closely trailed by now-Newcastle Jet Dimi Petratos and promising youngster Luke Ivanovic, who remains on Sydney’s books.

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Central Coast Mariners – Mustafa Amini

Age: 17 years 294 days

Fixture: 3-1 win vs Gold Coast United, February 9 2011

Mustafa Amini was a beneficiary of Graham Arnold’s Central Coast Mariners golden generation and is one of only four 17-year-olds to score in the A-League.

His domestic form earned him a move to Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund where he made all of his appearances in their second team before moving to Denmark and representing Randers FC and most recently AGF.

Amini is trailed by Bernie Ibini, Trent Buhagiar and Tommy Rogic: a top four who have all pulled on the green and gold at U23 and/or senior level.

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Perth Glory – Adam Taggart

Age: 17 years 248 days

Fixture: 1-2 loss vs Gold Coast United, February 6 2011

After breaking through and finding the back of the net as a teenager with Perth Glory, Adam Taggart moved on to Newcastle where three years later he had taken home the A-League Golden Boot and Young Player of the Year accolades.

Taggart’s meteoric rise earned him a move to Fulham and although that move did not work out as hoped he remains one of Australia’s form strikers playing for Suwong Bluewings and is still in the national team picture.

Perth have a second 17-year-old who burst onto the scene in Daniel De Silva, who was 12 days older than Taggart on the day of his maiden strike. Kristian Popovic rounds out the top three with his header earlier this season that salvaged a point away to Western United.

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Brisbane Roar – Tommy Oar

Age: 17 years 18 days

Fixture: 3-2 win vs Wellington Phoenix, December 28 2008

17-year-old Tommy Oar’s strike for the Queensland Roar in 2008 maintained its place in the A-League record books for over a decade.

Two years later Oar made his first of 28 national team appearances and transferred to FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie, where he remained for five years.

Since then he has failed to make a substantial impact at any of his clubs, leading to a journey throughout Europe and the A-League, where he was Macarthur FC’s maiden signing ahead of their inaugural campaign in 2020.

Oar is joined in Brisbane’s top three by Dane Ingham (now at Perth Glory) and Devante Clut, who recently joined NPL NSW club Sydney United.

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Adelaide United – Mohamed Toure

Age: 15 years 294 days

Fixture: 2-0 win vs Central Coast Mariners, February 14 2020

As has been well broadcast, Mohamed Toure is now the youngest goalscorer in A-League history by some distance.

After his 19-year-old brother’s FFA Cup heroics earlier this season Mohamed Toure had to wait until February to experience his first taste of top-flight football and boy did he make the most of it.

His brief cameo in Brisbane had a few people murmuring but a week later Toure was the talk of the town as he sent Coopers Stadium into raptures after tapping home Adelaide’s second with less than ten minutes to play.

He was fittingly assisted by Adelaide’s previous youngest scorer Riley McGree, which he set as an 18-year-old back in January 2017.

Three Socceroos – Awer Mabil, Nathan Burns and Matt Leckie – round out Adelaide’s top five, suggesting the future may well be bright for Toure.

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Feature image credit: Adelaide United FC

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Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.