Teeboy Kamara, 15, in line for A-League debut
by: Ray Gatt
December 16, 201110:35AM
TEENAGE sensation Teeboy Kamara, on the verge of becoming
the youngest player to take the field in the history of the
national football competition, says he "never saw it coming"
after being named in the Adelaide United squad to play Gold
Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.
Desperate to get the Reds back on track after a slow start
to the season, coach Rini Coolen produced a selection shock,
calling Kamara aside after training to tell him the news.
At 15 years and 212 days, the Liberian refugee and
Australian under-17 representative will become the youngest
player to grace the A-League if he gets on the field at some
He will eclipse the previous record held by Newcastle Jets
youngster James Virgili, who made his debut at 16 years and
180 days when he played against Wellington in January 2009.
Given his youth, Adelaide United opted not to inform media
of his selection until late yesterday, thus shielding him
from any attention.
However, Kamara was quick to jump on to his Facebook page to
let the world know.
"This is amazing . . . I didn't see it coming," Kamara said
on the social networking website.
He was more expansive later, when his story was made public
on the A-League website.
"I found out after training this morning.
"He (Coolen) called me aside and said, 'Teeboy you're in the
squad', and I was like, 'in the Youth Team squad?' and he
said 'No, the first team,' and I was, like, wow," Teeboy
told the Football Federation Australia website.
"Rini said that I've impressed so I deserve it.
"It feels like just yesterday I was playing soccer in the
back yard and at the park with my mates in Salisbury kicking
the ball around and going to watch the A-League and
thinking, whoa, these guys are freaks, am I ever going to be
"I remember not even dreaming of being on TV or playing for
a club like Adelaide United in a competition like the
"So to be this young and have the chance to make my debut, I
can't wait and I want to make sure I prove to Rini and the
people at Adelaide United that I'm good enough to play in
Kamara, who has blistering pace and wonderful skills, played
with the Australian under-17s in the World Youth Cup in
Mexico in June.
He made three appearances as a substitute before the Joeys
were eventually eliminated in the second round.
Sadly, on his return from Mexico, he lost his mother through
The death of his mother affected him deeply, but he found
the courage and determination to move on.
"I had two options. I could have thought to myself that my
mum has passed away, so stuff soccer, stuff life, I still
want my mum . . . the other option was to look at it like
Mum has passed away but she's probably still looking at me,
she loved me playing soccer and what's the point of stopping
now because she already put me half way there," Kamara said.
He has been a member of the Reds' national youth squad for
12 months, playing under former Adelaide defender Michael
"Rini has watched him quite a few times and obviously a
number of the youth boys go up and train with the senior
team, so he has a close eye on them and he has seen how
Teeboy has dominated in a lot of the youth games with his
hard work. And now he has been given an opportunity,"
Valkanis told the website.
"Regardless of his age, I think he is physically capable, he
shows that at training with the senior boys, mature-wise
he's got a good football brain, he keeps it simple, he's
very quick and he understands what has to be done."
Kamara fled to Australia from strife-torn Liberia with his
mother and older brother (now 21) and sister (now 17) when
he was just six years old.
He grew up in Salisbury and was quickly recognized as a
prodigious talent and snapped up by the South Australian
Sports Institute before finding his way to the Australian
Institute of Sport.