Cardiff, Wales, August, 13, 2011 – TEENAGER Ibby
Farah made a first-team impact for Cardiff City this week – and manager
Malky Mackay has spelled out what he expects.
Grangetown-boy Farah, 19, made his full debut at Oxford United and
produced an all-action display, hitting the bar and a post.
“Ibby has great energy, but lacks direction and great knowledge about
the game,” said Mackay. “But they are things that can be taught.
“All my coaching staff and I are happy if youngsters are desperate to do
well, to work hard and be the footballers they have the potential to
Three first-year senior professionals – Farah, Alex Evans and Nat Jarvis
– played in the 3-1 Carling Cup win at Oxford. They were joined in the
squad by trainees Joe Ralls, who went on during the second half, and
Jarvis popped up to lob City’s third goal in extra-time.
Manager Mackay has now given 12 players, new signings and teenagers,
their first-team debuts in two matches, away wins against West Ham
United 1-0 and League Two Oxford.
“Playing against league opponents was a good experience for the young
players as long as they have learned from it,” said Mackay. “There was
an opportunity for Ibby Farah and Joe Ralls to play alongside Peter
Whittingham, while Alex Evans linked with Gabor Gyepes.
“During the second half, Alex was outstanding. As the game wore on he
grew in confidence and was a proper defender.
“I wanted to get Joe on and he had a composed head about him. He is
another one coming through. We will nurture our young players and ensure
they get the right football education.”
Farah was given a central midfield role alongside Solomon Taiwo and,
when he limped off with a hamstring problem, Whittingham went on – and
fired the crucial second goal.
Cardiff-born Farah completed 90 minutes plus extra-time, and said: “The
manager has spoken to me and told me where I need to improve. I have to
improve my strength and will work in the gym to grow stronger.
“This is a big season for me and I understand what is needed. I will get
my head down, work hard and listen to the coaches.
“If my first-team chances come, no matter when, I promise I will be
Farah has captained Cardiff City’s development team in matches against
Blue Square South Weston-super-Mare (1-1) and Welsh Premier League Port
Talbot (2-2). He looks likely to wear the armband in the next
development game, against Llanelli at Stebonheath Park on Tuesday,
He was spotted playing in local parks football, was invited to play in a
trial match and signed schoolboy forms four years ago.
“This is my fourth year at the club and I’ve come a long way in that
time,” says Farah. “I am proud for that, but there is still a long way
to go. I have to be more aware, I have to keep learning.
“Neal Ardley and his academy coaches have shown a lot of faith in me. I
want to repay him by making the first team for Cardiff City. I have had
a taste and I will be patient. Whenever I am given a chance, I am
determined to grab it with both hands.”
Farah is from Cardiff’s Somali community, and says: “I have such a lot
of support from family and friends. I am one of the only Somali players
in professional football.”
Omar Abdillahi, also from Cardiff, played at Blackburn Rovers a few
seasons ago, but he didn’t quite make the big breakthrough for the
Premier League club. This season, Abdillahi has been playing for
MacWhirter Welsh League club Bridgend Town.
Farah’s professional football adventure, though, is gaining momentum and
he’s loving life with Cardiff City.