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He may only have played one full game for the senior side since emerging from City's acclaimed youth system, but that has been enough to make Abdisalam Ibrahim a superstar in Somalia, where he was born before emigrating to Norway.
Inspired by the 19-year-old midfielder’s appearances for the senior team last season, over 300 youngsters from the Somali community in the UK and Scandinavia played on the indoor pitch at Platt Lane last weekend in a mini-tournament that has strengthened the links between the club and the local community.
Darren Bowman, head of the Junior Academy, explains: “There has been an incredible response to Abdi’s rise into the first team squad from Somalis, not just in the immediate area near to the Academy but from all over the country and beyond.
“Through Abdi’s father we made contact with Somalis locally and further afield, and found there to be huge enthusiasm for football amongst the youngsters. A number play for the Whitworth Park club, which is almost on our doorstep, so it was nice to see them amongst the hundreds who had such a good time at the Academy.
“That the event was covered by a Somali TV crew shows the level of interest there is right now, and as a club we’re delighted to help with that. Abdi is a great role model to have, and he has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness with Somalis about what the City Academy does.
“It was a highly successful day that everybody enjoyed, and we are looking to host similar events with many diverse community groups this year.”