Eritrean Golgol Mebrahtu hopes for an early Orthodox Christmas gift

Daily Telegraph | January 06, 2013



Melbourne Heart's Golgol Mebrahtu, right, celebrates a goal against Perth Glory. Picture: George Salpigtidis. Source: Herald Sun

AS FORMER Gold Coast United prodigy Golgol Mebrahtu prepares to celebrate Christmas, he is hoping for an early gift of a win today over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.

An Orthodox Christian, the deeply religious Mebrahtu observes the birth of Jesus tomorrow.

"My faith in God is the most important aspect of my life," said the 22-year-old attacking weapon, who is grateful that "God led him" to the Melbourne Heart after the demise of the Gold Coast club at the end of the 2011-12 A-League season.

"It's been such a blessing. I'll always be thankful and grateful for where I am."

Heart coach John Aloisi took a chance on the injury-plagued Sudan-born talent, who moved to Brisbane via Eritrea in 2000.

"It took a little bit of time to get me where I am now but that's the faith the coach John Aloisi had in me," Mebrahtu said.


"I've really enjoyed it from day one here. It's a really good club with good ethics."

Having overcome a lengthy battle with osteitis pubis, livewire Mebrahtu has scored three goals in five games, including two in his past two matches.

It represents a flood of goals, considering that in 26 appearances for Gold Coast, he failed to find the back of the net.

"To be honest, I don't pay too much attention to the stuff about me not scoring goals for the Coast," he said.

"I was a bit unlucky and I know what my situation was in terms of playing regular football down there.

"I probably hit the post five times, so one inch inside the post and I would have had five goals.

"Of course, there were times when I should have scored and I didn't, and it's good to score goals, but it's a bit bitter-sweet if you don't win the game.

"It's definitely a good feeling to score, but a better feeling to score and win games."

Which is why three points are Mebrahtu's priority today against a Roar side coached by his former Gold Coast United mentor Mike Mulvey.

"It's only a matter of time before we go on a good run and really start climbing that ladder," he warned the resurgent Roar, who will today aim for a hat-trick of wins.

Mebrahtu said he owed a lot to Mulvey and foundation Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg, who discovered the speedster's raw talent five years ago.

Bleiberg saw Mebrahtu play for the Brisbane Strikers in the Brisbane Premier League and realised the then-teenager's dedication when he saw Mebrahtu training by himself at Davies Park at West End.

"He had never trained professionally … then you realise he's skilful, talented, intelligent and happy to learn, and you know that you've got a jewel in the crown," Bleiberg told The Courier-Mail in August 2010.

Mebrahtu said the Heart and Gold Coast were like chalk and cheese, but would never forget the chance he was given by Bleiberg.

"I had never met him before I met him at the park, and that's when things started rolling along," the former Brisbane State High School student said.

"There were some difficulties at the Gold Coast, but for me that was a big learning curve.

"I grew as a person a lot when I was there … but to be part of Melbourne Heart now is a massive blessing for me.

"Coming down to the Heart has been a perfect fit.

"I don't regret anything and I couldn't see it any other way."

The Roar has lost Henrique for today's clash against the Heart.

The Brazilian speedster has succumbed to a groin strain.