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Young striker to debut for Reds

Soccer

EXCLUSIVE: Adelaide United will debut young striker Alhassan Toure in tomorrow’s FFA Cup clash against Melbourne Knights.

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He will lead the line for the defending champions in the absence of George Blackwood (hamstring) and new signing Kristian Opseth who is not ready to play a competitive fixture.

Toure was four when he and his family migrated to Australia from Guinea.

He has scored five goals in 15 games for Adelaide United’s NPL team, including a run of four goals in four games in July and has been playing for the senior team in its recent friendly matches.

Speaking with InDaily, Adelaide United’s new coach Gertjan Verbeek confirmed 19-year-old Toure would make his debut.

Verbeek also confirmed he will play his best side against the former NSL team.

“In friendly games, it’s easy to test some players in different positions,” Verbeek said.

“But when you have a really serious game, you have to play with the team you think can get the best result and if the game is going well, you can afford to let other players play.”

Verbeek explained that the players he selects for competitive fixtures need to understand his tactics and vision for the style of play he wants to implement.

“We have to talk one language with each other,” he said.

“The thoughts I have – they have to think the same way, otherwise the trainer talks and they have a different vision.”

Verbeek also spoke passionately about the importance of youth development, which is likely to be a key component of his role at Adelaide United.

“It is how I see football – if you make the players better the team will play better,” he said.

“I like to work with young players because they can and want to change a lot.

“With older players, it is more difficult because they know their qualities and they’re not eager to step out of their comfort zone.

“To develop players, you have to spend hours on the pitch and that’s what I like the most – to see players, to make a program not just in a physical way but also a technical and tactical way and also mentally.”

But the Dutch tactician added that results were also important.

“When you are a head coach, you have to get results also for the confidence of the players,” he added.

“If you don’t have results, you can train really well but they won’t believe you.

“So you need results.”

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