“I believe the children are our future”, once sung an optimistic Whitney Houston in an all too catchy opening line. 30 years later and the idea has caught on however…
Karamoko Dembele came on for Celtic tonight in their u20’s match against Hearts. He’s just 13-years old. pic.twitter.com/02q0EHSgIP
— Promising Young (@PromisingYoung) 3 October 2016
CRAZY: 14 year-old Mustafa Kapi officially makes his debut for Galatasaray…
…he was born in 2002. pic.twitter.com/R6X9viuZUS
— SPORF (@Sporf) 8 October 2016
In the space of one week, professional football has fielded debuts to two teenagers who, between them; have only lived for 27 years. 13-year-old Karamoko Dembele played for Celtic’s under 20s in a 3-1 victory over Hearts whilst more recently Mustafa Kapi made a first team debut in a 2-0 triumph over Levski Sofia for Galatasaray. It’s staggering. What were the rest of us doing at 14? If you’re anything like myself you were throwing wet tissues at the toilet walls and rushing to get home before dark after an intense sesh on the Gameboy with your mates.
But these two lads were plucked from obscurity at their relative academies and thrown into the deep end of the sport. Fair play to them.
We caught up with the Galatasary wonderkid, Mustafa Kapi to see how he found the overwhelming experience.
CLICKON Soccer (CS): So, Mustafa, what did you get up to when you got home from the big game?
“Well it was way past my bed time to tell you the truth so I felt a little cheeky. But Mum said I could stay up and talk to my friends about it if I wanted. So I tweeted, then I posted a couple Snapchat stories. After that I wrote a Facebook status, made a quick Vine, uploaded to insta – oh and I pinged everyone on BBM but no one replied…”
CS: Fair enough, mate. Any celebrations to mark the event?
“Yeah, how did you know? I had a box under my bed and I treated myself to a mini Snickers, but only one otherwise I’d get too hyper and my parents would notice I’d been snacking. I prefer Heroes though, no Bounties in those bad boys.”
CS: We agree. How did it feel then to run onto the pitch with all the adults?
“Well it was alright really, although they used a lot of words I didn’t understand. So that was difficult. I mean, they kept talking about ‘knockers’ or something in the changing room – I didn’t understand that stuff.”
CS: Wait til you’re older, son. How have the kids at school reacted?
“It’s dead cool, I got a certificate in assembly so everyone’s jealous. Other than that I’m just normal Mustafa, guys – I ain’t gonna let the experience get to my head. Although another certificate or even a sticker wouldn’t go amiss. But I’ve got Pokemon to catch so gotta go!”
Whilst his attention span could possibly be called into question, you can’t knock Kapi’s ability to be competing at such a high level when he’s still so young. Whether it was just PR from Galatasary or not, let’s hope they keep giving him chances and train him well. If they do, we could have a very promising player on our hands for a long time yet. Fingers crossed!