At just 16 years old Idrus Abdulahi became the youngest player to don a Melbourne City shirt in a frantic final ten minutes which “felt like a dream”.
Migrating from Ethiopa as a refugee in 2010 – Abdulahi’s story is one which would touch the hearts of many.
Described as one of the nicest players in the locker room by his teammates, the former Brunswick City winger spends his spare time volunteering at his former club when he’s not completing his schooling at Maribyrnong Secondary College in Melbourne’s west.
Abdulahi replaced Dario Vidosic in the 81st minute in City’s 5-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners and played an integral role in the team’s fifth goal.
“I’m very happy to have achieved this,” he said.
“I was training all week with the first team and [Warren Joyce] told me I could have the chance and to be ready.
“I thought I was dreaming [when I came on], I thought I was in my bedroom last night I was pinching myself the whole time.
“[Scott Jamieson] looked after me out there he told me where to be, everyone really helped me.”
It was Abdulahi’s determination to strip Mariners captain Matt Simon of the ball before a number of City’s youth combined to score what was the best goal of the night – finished off by Ramy Najjarine.
“I felt like I was going to cry when Ramy [Najjarine] scored that goal,” he said.
After playing at Brunswick City, Abdulahi was recruited by City through the ‘Skillaroos’ program and featured on the bench in Round 1 but has not seen any first team football until now.
When the 16-year-old is not showcasing his skills for City he is completing his schooling in Melbourne’s West.
“It’s hard to balance everything but the club and school have planned a schedule for me I’m very happy but have to keep working hard,” he said.
“I just wanted to train with the first team and train at that level.
“I have to go to school on Monday so now I’ll be doing my homework for then.”