Diminu­tive Karamoko daz­zles for Celtic U-20

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

STAND­ING at half the height of the other play­ers and with braces on his teeth, 13-year-old Karamoko Dem­bele made his de­but for Scot­tish foot­ball team Celtic’s Un­der 20 de­vel­op­ment team this week.

His ap­pear­ance on Monday night may have been only a nine-minute cameo in a 3-1 win over Hearts but a star was born.

The young­ster was al­ready an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion fol­low­ing daz­zling dis­plays for Celtic’s school­boy sides – skip­ping past Barcelona prodi­gies at the St Kevin’s Boys Academy Cup in Dublin, where he was Player of the Tour­na­ment.

With Karamoko fly­ing down the wing, Celtic also won the pres­ti­gious Bas­sevelde Cup in Bel­gium last month.

Now he has won many more ad­mir­ers and as Celtic’s of­fi­cial web­site re­port said, the diminu­tive play­maker did not look out of place.

Karamoko goes to St Ninian’s High in Kirk­in­til­loch as part of Celtic’s Youth Academy’s part­ner­ship with the lo­cal school.

On Tues­day, Celtic’s Head of Youth, Chris McCart, said the club was de­lighted for Karamoko to make his de­but but vowed his de­vel­op­ment would not be rushed.

“We were all de­lighted to see Karamoko make his de­but against Hearts in what proved to be an en­ter­tain­ing game,” he said.

“The fact that he was play­ing against other play­ers seven years his se­nior gives an in­di­ca­tion of the qual­ity this young boy pos­sesses and it was also fit­ting that he came on for Jack Aitchi­son, the club’s youngest-ever goal scorer.

“What we need to re­mem­ber, though, is that Karamoko is just 13 years old. He was given a chance to play last night on merit, but it is very im­por­tant that we con­tinue that de­vel­op­ment at a mea­sured pace.

“Karamoko is still a young boy and has a lot of grow­ing to do, both phys­i­cally and men­tally. The coaches at our Un­der-13 and 14 lev­els have been fan­tas­tic in nur­tur­ing his po­ten­tial but it is cru­cial that we do not push him too far, too soon.

“He has a lot of hard work ahead of him to make it to the top and we won’t rush that, but we also know Karamoko, and the other tal­ented young play­ers we have here, is at the per­fect place to con­tinue his progress and we look for­ward to see­ing what the fu­ture holds.” – Daily Mail

PIC­TURE: YOUTUBE

Karamoko Dem­bele makes his de­but for Celtic.

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