In possibly the youngest Otago football transfer,
Rahan Ali (15) has signed for Premier Scottish side Inverness
Caledonian Thistle, and will leave for Scotland on January
The youngster actually played for University in Southern
League last season when he was only 14 years old, as
Varsity's Brazilian coach Luiz Uehara spotted the talented
lad and gave him a chance to test his undoubted skills at
Uehara said, ‘‘Young Rahan has very good technique, is quick
and sharp . . . but his best quality is decision-making -
when to pass, when to hold, and he has a really good tactical
An Otago Boys' High School pupil, Ali has also been a regular
choice in Footballsouth's national talent centres, and has
represented Otago throughout junior grades. In the Futsal
squad, he trains and plays alongside Ben O'Farrel (14).
At this weekend's National League Futsal tournament, Rahan
showed his skills in Footballsouth's team, which is coached
by NZ international Mike Sannum, and scored one of its goals
in the 3-1 win over Canterbury.
Rahan's father Shokit Ali and mother Fiona are originally
from Inverness and this year took Rahan to Aberdeen Football
Club for trials, but preferred the Caledonian Thistle set-up
and felt more comfortable at the prospect of Rahan having
family support over there.
Inverness Caledonian's youth team coach Charlie Christie was
impressed with Rahan's skills and reportedly said that at 15
he was as good as the 16 and 17-year-old boys he had in his
Rahan will join Inverness as a ‘‘schoolboy'' signing until he
is 17, after which he hopes to sign full apprentice forms.
Ali will stay with his grandfather and attend the Royal
It is years since the likes of Michael McGarry went to
Newcastle United on trial, then Graham Marshall went to
It is hoped Ali can follow Cam Howieson's path in signing for
Burnley, rapidly becoming an All White who played Olympic
football against Brazil.