Adelaide United supporters can expect to see a lot more of exciting youngster Teeboy Kamara after he signed a three year deal with the club.
Less than a week after Teeboy’s historic debut appearance in the Hyundai A-League where he became the youngest player to take the field in the competition, the Reds quickly moved to secure the 15 year old attacking midfielder on a senior contract.
Due to his age and the contractual conditions of Football Federation Australia (FFA), Teeboy’s contract will only officially begin on 18 May 2012, the day he turns 16.
“According to FFA regulations a professional contract cannot start until the player is at a school leaving age of the state in which he resides,” Adelaide United Football Director Michael Petrillo explained.
“In South Australia the school leaving age when the student can take up employment or further study is 16. In the meantime he will be a National Youth League contracted player before he makes the transition to a senior contract on May 18 next year.”
Teeboy’s commitment to the Reds follows that of other talented young South Australians, goalkeeper Paul Izzo and midfielder Jacob Melling, to have been snapped up by the club. All three were part of the Qantas Joeys squad at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico earlier this year, Izzo and Melling’s Adelaide United contracts to commence on January 1, 2012.
Already gathering somewhat of a cult following amongst United supporters, Teeboy could not hide the excitement of knowing he would be a permanent member of the Reds’ squad.
“It feels really good. Seeing Jacob Melling and Paul Izzo in the same shoes, it’s awesome and I can’t wait,” Teeboy said.
“The last eight months have been eight months of joy with what has happened with my football, but I’m definitely not going to get ahead of myself.”
“So many people have supported me – family, friends. I’m very grateful and I just hope I can be a role model for other young African people to follow their dreams and never stop believing that they can achieve them.”
Reds Coach John Kosmina believes Teeboy’s acquisition is a fantastic story.
“I saw him come on the other night and the way the crowd reacted to him was brilliant,” Kosmina said.
“I asked some people at Croydon, where he played as a junior, about him and they said he was not only a good quality player but also a good quality person. For a 15 year old he’s quite mature, physically he’s a fantastic specimen, and last Friday night and this week at training he’s looked comfortable – he’s a natural.”
Arriving in Adelaide from his homeland of Liberia at age 6, Teeboy’s football journey began out in a suburban park where he used to kick the ball around with his brother and other kids in the neighbourhood.
His first club was the Croydon Kings where he played from Under 8’s to Under 16’s and was the place his potential became increasingly evident. However, it could have been a different story as he also had a strong interest in Australian Rules. Fascinated by the game, Teeboy spent time in SANFL club North Adelaide’s Under 13 development squad and could easily have followed down the path of another football code. But the round ball game won out and it appears to have been meant to be.
From Croydon, Teeboy spent one season with Salisbury United’s Under 19’s before joining the SASI program under Tony Vidmar late in 2010. While representing SASI, Teeboy, whose father was a talented goalkeeper in his day, was named in the All Star Team at the national Institute Challenge in Canberra and an invitation to the Australian Institute of Sport followed.
Teeboy was the youngest member of the Australia’s FIFA U-17 World Cup squad in Mexico before a serious illness to his mother, which would tragically end up taking her life, saw him return to Adelaide.
He has played all but one of the Reds’ National Youth League games this season, and he followed his debut appearance in the Hyundai A-League last Friday night against Gold Coast United with two goals in a 45 minute cameo in the United’s Youth team the next day.
To cap off Teeboy’s whirlwind journey, he has been included in the Reds’ travelling party for the trip to Sydney to face Sydney FC tomorrow night at the Sydney Football Stadium.