Adelaide United FC’s on field future has taken another exciting and positive step forward with the acquisition of talented local youngsters Awer Mabil and Jordan Elsey on senior contracts.
The signing of the duo, who are both currently part of the club’s National Youth League squad, to two year deals commencing on 1 May 2013, notably takes the number of young South Australian talent under the age of 20 at the club to five, Mabil and Elsey to join Paul Izzo, Teeboy Kamara and Jacob Melling on the Reds’ senior list.
Adelaide United Chairman Greg Griffin made the announcement, proud to emphasise the club’s desire to nurture and provide an opportunity for aspiring young players to represent the club and have a chance to mould out professional careers for themselves.
“Today is an important day when we announce the signing of two of the brightest young prospects in Australia,” Griffin said.
“Both of these boys are players who have come through the local system, we’ve developed them and are delighted to say they will be part of our squad for next season.”
“We’re making a statement here that we will give young South Australian kids a go.”
Going on their performances to date in this season’s National Youth League, Mabil and Elsey, who are both products of the South Australian Sports Institute’s football program, have certainly deserved their opportunity.
An explosive and dynamic winger, Mabil has scored eight goals so far in the National Youth League this season, including a hat-trick against the Newcastle Jets, while the high regard Elsey is held in is evidenced by the fact he was named United Youth’s most valuable player last season and currently wears the captain’s armband for the club’s Youth Team.
“It feels great to finally be a part of Adelaide United,” Elsey said.
“I’ve been training with them for a long time now, it feels good to be official and now I can get down to improving and working hard.”
“I’ve been in Adelaide all my life and been watching Adelaide United since I was 12, so it’s perfect.”
For Mabil, he is still pinching himself with the news but knows it is up to him to make the most of his chance.
“It’s hard to believe…I couldn’t believe it and now I’m here so the hard work starts now,” Mabil said.
“I just have to keep working hard and one day I’ll get there.”
Born in Kenya, Mabil came out to Australia with his mother, older brother and younger sister at the age of 10, his father having passed away before he could remember. With football in his blood, it did not take long for Mabil to be noticed as he played for a number of teams in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, and in the 2011/12 National Youth League season, he was a train on player for the Reds’ Youth Team before receiving a youth contract the following season.
Competing in his third NYL season, Elsey has become an outstanding defender, showing great potential and a maturity that he has what it takes to make it at Hyundai A-League level.
Mabil and Elsey have both been regular train on players with the Reds’ senior squad this season.
DOB 15 September 1995 (Kakuma, Kenya)
Position Winger/Attacking Midfielder
Campbelltown, SASI, Playford, St Augustines, Salisbury East
Currently has 8 goals in the National Youth League 2012/13 Season
Scored a hat-trick for Adelaide United’s Youth Team against Newcastle Jets Youth
Moved to Australia in June 2006
DOB 2 March 1994 (Adelaide)
2011/12 Adelaide United Youth Team, 2011 Para Hills (SA), 2009-2011 Adelaide United Youth Team, 2008 SASI
Current Adelaide United Youth captain
Adelaide United Youth Team Most Valuable Player 2011/12
Spent time at SASI under the guidance of former Socceroos defender Tony Vidmar