With Adelaide United’s two 2016 Mediterranean International Cup squads preparing to travel to Spain later this month, 15-year-old, Machochi ‘Delphi’ Mulongecha, has been given the opportunity to be part of the group thanks to the support of Martyn Crook Foundation.
Born in Kalemie, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Machochi ‘Delphi’ Mulongecha now calls Australia home, a safe haven from the harsh living conditions that once faced his family.
But even through many hardships, Delphi’s passion for football has given the Salisbury United junior, now playing in the Under 18s, a drive that is now sending the 15-year-old to Spain as part of Adelaide United’s 2016 Mediterranean International Cup (MIC) squad.
“I’m really excited to be part of the Adelaide MIC teams and this will be a new experience for me,” Delphi said. “It’ll be a little scary, playing against bigger teams and clubs from Europe, but I’m very happy to have this opportunity and to be selected is a great feeling.”
The opportunity to play against some of Europe’s best young talents is something that Delphi has earned through countless hours practising his football in local parks and at his training sessions with Salisbury United. And through the added support of the Martyn Crook Foundation, Delphi’s footballing appetite will reach new realms of hunger when he travels to Spain later this month.
“Like any young boy, my dreams are to play in any of the big football leagues in Europe, which would be amazing,” he continued.
“But right now I am just focused on enjoying my football and growing as much as I can with the sport and doing my best when we go over to Spain.”
The chance to assist in helping Delphi travel to Spain with the Reds’ MIC teams is something President of the Martyn Crook Foundation, Julie Crook, is incredibly proud of.
“We’re absolutey delighted to be able to help Delphi,” Mrs Crook said. “He was identified by quite a few people at his local club, Salisbury United, as someone who has a lot of potential.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Adelaide United, Salisbury United, but mainly for Delphi and his development to be given such a great platform to test himself.”
It isn’t the first time the Martyn Crook Foundation has been involved in helping aspiring young footballers realise their potential and pursuit their dreams, with the Foundation supporting former-United starlet, Awer Mabil, prior to his involvement with the Club.
“Awer was one of the inaugural recipients of the Martyn Crook Foundation’s Award when the foundation first got up and running and he received assistance from us to progress and develop,” Mrs Crook continued.
“It was amazing to see Awer do so well with Adelaide United and we’re hopeful Delphi can perhaps follow in his footsteps one day.
“From the Foundation’s perspective, we want to wish Delphi every success in his future career and especially in Spain with Adelaide United’s MIC team.
“It’ll be a great experience for him and for all of the young players going and we’re absolutely delighted to be able to support Delphi.”
As a result of United’s success at the 2015 Mediterranean International Cup (MIC), the Club will return with two full squads totalling 38 players – 17 of which have been selected directly from the Adelaide United Football School.
MIC is an international youth football tournament held along the north-east coast of Spain comprising of five different age classifications: U19s, U16s, U14s, U12s, and U12s (seven-a-side).
The world-renowned tournament is celebrating its 16th year, through which it has seen countless current football stars play in the competition, such as Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Gerard Piqué, and Cesc Fabregas.
In addition, some of Europe’s largest football clubs have sent teams to participate in MIC, like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Liverpool FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester United, Internazionale Milano, and AFC Ajax.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Internazionale Milano will all be returning for this year’s version of the tournament, while Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Celtic FC, FC Porto have also been confirmed.
Adelaide United’s 2016 Mediterranean International Cup squads are in the final stages of preparation ahead of their upcoming trip to Barcelona between March 22 and 27, with the teams finding out their opposition in the coming days.
Visit Adelaide United’s website to see the progress of the team’s in this year’s competition