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Stay grounded and you can fly - Goodwin’s message to ‘X-factor’ Toure


Adelaide United’s teenage turbo Mohamed Toure possesses an “X-factor” which can propel him onto bigger stages in Europe or Asia, according his fringe Socceroo Reds teammate Craig Goodwin.

The on-loan winger, who spent two seasons at Sparta Rotterdam, saw Toure, 16, come off the bench to calmly crash home the winner against Western Sydney Wanderers last Sunday, and feels an embryonic star emerging.

“We have some of best youngsters I’ve seen at the club in quite a while - and Mo is certainly one of them,” said Goodwin.

“He has a bit of an X-factor about him and the potential is definitely there to go on and have a successful career overseas.

“The job for us older boys is to keep these type of players level-headed, on the right path, and not to let them get ahead of themselves.

“When you’re thrown in early - especially at just 16 in Mo’s case - there’s a lot of hype and people telling you ‘you’re going to be this, you’re going to be that’.

“It’s a matter of staying grounded and doing the hard work every single day, pushing yourself to the limit to achieve those big ambitions.”

With three goals in nine appearances this season - seven of those off the bench - Toure is currently overshadowing older brother Al Hassan, who is rebuilding his momentum with the Reds after a series of injury setbacks.

Both have signed with the France-based agency which boasts Patrick Vieira and Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy as clients, and are looking to expedite European moves, possibly as soon as next season.

Goodwin, whose fresh-faced features and still-electric pace belie his age, lists Mohamed’s main weapons as explosive speed and cold-eyed finishing acumen.

“He’s come off the bench and scored a few goals,” he added. “At 16, he’s quality, and I like his calmness in front of goal.

“He needs to stay focused and I’m sure he will because he’s a good kid, as is (fellow striker and Olyroo) Al Hassan (20).

“He has good dribbling skills, his pace is a nightmare and the ability is certainly all there.

“It’s very exciting for Australian football and don’t forget we’ve also got Yaya Dukuly (18), Kusini Yengi (22), Louis D'Arrigo (19) Noah Smith (20), plus a few more (at the Reds).

“Sometimes the younger players have that inconsistency and that’s to be expected.”

Goodwin has been an instant game-changer in his third coming for the Reds, scoring early and bringing a dangerous new dimension to Carl Veart’s side in the 3-2 win over the Wanderers.

The Reds will need to milk every moment from the 29-year-old winger, who is slated to return to parent club Al-Wehda at the end of the season.

He initiated his return to his hometown team after finding it hard to settle at another Saudi club, Abha, during a previous loan period where he was playing every week.

Their loss has been Adelaide’s gain, with Goodwin’s pedigree - and the impending arrival of former Perth Glory midfielder Juande from Kerala Blasters - likely to bolster fifth-placed Adelaide’s playoff prospects.

“It felt like the right time to come back. My partner (Katelyn) and I weren’t enjoying our time in the second place (Abha) and I’m just pleased to back with a team which first and foremost I’m a fan of.

“I grew up here watching the games and I want to give my best the club and the supporters.

“I was happy to have an impact in that first game - we have something to build on here.

“If everybody is fit I think we have the potential to be right up there come the end of the season.”

Adelaide can cement their place in the top six by beating 10th-placed Newcastle Jets tonight at Coopers Stadium, though only two points separate the teams.

“Our first away win at the Wanderers was a big confidence-booster for us and we now really need to capitalise on our home ground advantage,” added Goodwin.

Source SBS The World Game