Mohamed Toure is the talk of Australian football after the 15-year-old smashed an A-League record and scored in Adelaide United’s 2-0 Round 19 win over Central Coast Mariners.
At just 15 years and 325 days, Toure became the A-League’s youngest-ever goalscorer, taking the record from Tommy Oar.
Oar had just turned 17 when he set the previous benchmark way back in 2008 with Brisbane Roar, but Toure broke the record by more than a year and set tongues wagging with his second impressive cameo in as many matches.
Toure’s power and trickery were immediately evident in an eye-catching eight-minute cameo against the Roar in Round 18.
That meant it was no surprise that Adelaide boss Gertjan Verbeek turned to the teen with Friday’s fixture against Central Coast locked at 0-0.
And after George Blackwood gave the Reds the lead, Toure was on hand to seal Adelaide’s victory and spark big celebrations inside Coopers Stadium.
Speaking to Fox Sports after the match, Toure said: “It feels surreal. Never thought of doing it in a million years – not at 15.
“So it’s an amazing feeling, especially at home, in front of my friends and family.”
Watch the goal
Toure had only signed a three-year scholarship contract with Adelaide on Thursday.
The ‘good story’ football needs
Bruce Djite knows a thing or two about scoring goals for Adelaide United.
The ex-Socceroo is the club’s all-time top scorer and now works for United as director of football.
Djite said he was “out of my seat” when Toure scored and that the teenager’s goal was a great boost for football.
“Football in Australia is crying out for a good story,” Djite told The New Daily.
“It’s a positive story in the sense that [Mohamed is the] youngest scorer of an A-League goal, 15 years old, third-youngest player to make their debut.
“It was a very good performance, of course, similar to last week. Obviously, this week he scores the goal … fantastic feat for him.”
Djite said Toure deserved immense credit for taking his chance in recent weeks, which he acknowledged came quicker than expected.
“He’s been lucky in the sense that we have been going through a bit of an injury crisis … credit to him, he’s really taking the opportunity,” he said.
Dealing with the hype
Toure was flanked by his older brother, Adelaide United’s Al Hassan Toure, during his post-match interview.
Regular media appearances from the 15-year-old are unlikely for the time being, Djite explained.
“We discussed it a couple of weeks ago [how to deal with the attention] prior to his selection in the squad for the Brisbane Roar game,” he said.
“We will keep him out of the media spotlight, that’s for sure, as much as we can.
“From his side … it’s about doing what he has been doing.
“It’s about staying humble, listening to what the coach says, not getting too excited when things go well and not getting too down when things don’t go well.”
Djite said that Adelaide was “well aware how quickly things can change in football and how important it is that young people keep their feet on the ground”.
But the retired striker does not expect the hype to faze the record-breaker.
“To his credit, he’s not a nervous type of guy when he crosses that white line,” he added.
Mohamed’s older brother – who was also born in Guinea – has been an important figure for Adelaide this season.
Al Hassan Toure scored five goals in as many matches in the club’s successful FFA Cup run, highlighted by a man-of-the-match performance in the FFA Cup Final.
The 19-year-old won the Mark Viduka Medal for best afield in that match, and also played for the Australia Under-23’s last month at the AFC Championship.
Graham Arnold’s men finished third at that event, qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics football tournament.
Al Hassan Toure is currently injured and expected to miss another six weeks.
It means fans will have to wait for the Toure brothers to play together. That will be worth watching.