From: Biniam Tekle (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Sep 23 2009 - 12:35:05 EDT
Gol-Gol stars for Gold Coast
28 June 2009 | 08:15 - SBS EXCLUSIVE
Name to remember ... Gold Coast United starlet Gol-Gol Mebrahtu (Gold Coast
With a name like Gol-Gol you might be entitled to expect something special,
and in African refugee Gol-Gol Mebrahtu, Gold Coast United might just have
Gold Coast's high five
The whiz kid snapped up on a three-year deal by Miron Bleiberg and added to
the client list of Aussie super agent Bernie Mandic is already delivering on
his promise, coming off the bench in Noumea on Saturday night - in his
second appearance for the A-League newcomers - to score a clever goal and
hit the inside of the post in a captivating cameo against New Caledonia.
The 5-0 scoreline against one of Oceania's biggest fishes - a side that had
spent the past month preparing to do battle with Bleiberg's men - was sealed
by four goals in the final 22 minutes as superior conditioning and
organisation kicked in against tiring opposition in a gripping exhibition
And Gol-Gol provided an intriguing sub-plot, rounding keeper Tein Ounemoa
with a swivel of the hips before tapping home from an acute angle after
being put clear by Joel Porter for United's third just five minutes after
coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute.
The Stade Numa-Daly was the perfect stage for Bleiberg to have a look at his
youngsters, with none shining brighter than Mebrahtu who followed up his
debut against North Queensland Fury with a far more telling contribution.
Spotted by Bleiberg training by himself in a Brisbane park at 7am on a
November morning last year, the 18-year-old could be United's accidental
hero in 2009-10, with Bleiberg saying: "Gol-Gol has got real quality about
"He's the quickest player at the club, he jumps the highest and now he's
shown he can score goals. He's only been here as a refugee from the Sudan
for the past eight years and I think he has a big future.
"People can judge for themselves because I plan to use him in the A-League
After playing his part in a goal show which also included strikes from
fringe forward Andrew Barisic (four minutes), fellow sub Matt Osman (66),
Steve Pantelidis (86) and Michael Thwaite (89), Mebrahtu told The World
Game: "I'm starting to feel at home at this level and I don't see why I
can't perform in the A-League.
"That's my aim but it's all down to the gaffer. I've got a Youth Team
contract (for the first year) but I'm getting a taste for being involved
with the senior team and I think I can make the step up.
"I've been lucky to get a look in and I think I've done okay. I thought I
did better against New Caledonia than against the Fury. Now I'm dreaming of
playing against Fulham (on July 8 at Skilled Park). Even if I only get a
minute in that game I will be forever thankful."
Mebrahtu would have had two but for the inside of the post after a 25-metre
blast nine minutes from time.
United, who also showcased would-be Socceroos keeper Jess Vanstrattan for
the first time, jet to Singapore on Monday to play the Asian nation's
under-23 team the following day before their final tour match against Hong
Kong FC on Friday.
Vanstrattan, 26, made two important saves with the score at 1-0 to show how
vital an asset he might be.
Bleiberg said: "The changes we made hit them like a sucker punch and it was
one of those occasions when it worked perfectly. We have Jason Culina and
Shane Smeltz to come in now, and also (Brazilian) Robson and we'll be twice
as good in Singapore and Hong Kong."
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