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Somalia's U-17 midfielder Idriis Aden warns rivals not to underestimate them at AFCON

Saturday April 29, 2023


Idriis Aden, a Swedish-born footballer has been impressing scouts with his exceptional performances for IFK Uddevalla junior team. CREDIT: SFF

Algiers (HOL) - Idriis Abdelwahab Aden, the Sweden-based midfielder of Somalia's U17 squad, has issued a warning to their opponents ahead of their TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) debut on Saturday in Algeria. The young footballer has been turning heads with his exceptional performances for Sweden's IFK Uddevalla junior team, and now he is preparing to showcase his skills on the international stage in his team's historic debut against the host nation

The young Ocean Stars, led by midfielder Idriis Abdelwahab Aden, are determined to make a statement on the continental stage. In an interview with CAFOnline.com, Aden expressed his ambition to prove that Somalia has a strong team. The 16-year-old talent, inspired by African football legend Didier Drogba and global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, aims to make a significant impact on the pitch.

"We promise the people of Somalia that we will strive to win this tournament and show a beautiful picture of our country on and off the pitch. We want to show that we can also compete and have what it takes to be on the top level."

Somalia has worked tirelessly to prepare for the competition but has encountered setbacks, with key striker Abdihafid Mohamed potentially missing the tournament due to a controversial failed MRI screening for age verification. The Somali Football Federation, puzzled by the results, has requested additional evidence regarding Abdihafid's test results. Nonetheless, the team remains optimistic against a formidable Algerian side. 

Algeria, the host nation, is under no illusions about the mental pressure that comes with hosting a tournament. Head coach Arezki Remmane believes their experience and preparation will help them surmount it. 

"Every opening match is difficult for the host country. Mentally, it will be a lot of pressure. The mental factor is very important in this competition," the tactician said.

Remmane hopes to draw lessons from their successful 2022 Under-17 Arab Cup and use the home advantage to secure the African title.

The Somali squad, though considered underdogs, is brimming with potential. The Ocean Stars will compete in a formidable Group A against host nation Algeria, Senegal, and Congo. Coach Nur Mohamed Amin leads the team, which has been strengthened by the addition of talented foreign-born players like Yassin Abdirahman and Idiris Abdiwahab Aden.

Somalia's debut in the AFCON U-17 tournament is a significant milestone in the nation's football development. Facing a challenging battle in Group A, the Ocean Stars' determination and passion will undoubtedly shine through, proving that even underdogs can make their mark in the tournament.

The clash between Somalia and Algeria will set the tone for the rest of the tournament, and the entire football world will be watching closely. The top four teams from the Africa Cup of Nations will secure their spots in the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year. 
The heavily anticipated match kicks off at 10 pm local time.


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