Friday, December 2, 2022

Garang Kuol: From refugee to World Cup, who is the Australian wonderkid?

Australia launches its World Cup, as in 2018, against the France team. Four years later, players have changed and talents have blossomed like young striker Garang Kuol. Aged only 18, the Socceroos striker is still unknown to the general public. If he is not announced as a starter for this first match (he has never been with the first team), he could be quickly thrown into the deep end if the Australians are behind.

An Egyptian origin and a refugee status

Garang Kuol was not born in Australia and has a moving history before reaching the very top level. Born in Egypt into a family originally from South Sudan, he fled the war with the latter before being welcomed in Australia as a political refugee.

Limited playing time

The young striker is currently playing for the Central Coast Mariners, the Australian Premier League club. A club he joined in 2021. While he is not even a starter yet and his first match dates back only to last April (he played only 138 minutes), he is already two goals away and two assists.

A precocious talent, already called up for selection

Despite his short playing time, the Australia coach called him up in recent months, becoming the youngest player called up since a certain Harry Kewell. Garang Kuol is “an 18-year-old who comes out of nowhere and is on a new path in life”, confided at the beginning of the month Graham Arnold about his prodigy. “We’ve seen this kind of thing happen many times at World Cups and big games, when unknown players come forward and inspire the whole country. […] I brought him into play against New Zealand (17 minutes in September for his only selection, editor’s note) and he integrated very well into the Socceroos family.”

Future Newcastle player

Garang Kuol will not stay long in Australia and the big European clubs are already interested in him since the little prodigy will join the Newcastle Magpies, currently 3rd in the Premier League, in January. He is a very promising young talent”, greeted Dan Ashworth, the sporting director of the Magpies, in recent weeks.

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