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Australia’s newest breakout star and his momentous 2022

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Named in the Socceroos’ final 26-man squad for the World Cup, Garang Kuol’s incredible 2022 campaign has him on the path to greatness.

As the 2022 FIFA World Cup draws closer, all eyes have been on Central Coast Mariner Garang Kuol.

Despite his side’s 2-3 loss over the weekend, Kuol was a force to be reckoned with during Sunday’s game. Scoring twice, Kuol first made a penalty before scoring seven minutes later with an incredibly classy goal.

Buzz for the eighteen-year-old has grown like wildfire the past twelve months, but was at an all-time high last week following the announcement he was among the 26 Socceroos bound for the Qatar World Cup.

For many, his inclusion in the squad was a surprise – Kuol has yet to start a game for the Central Coast Mariners. Those closest to him, including Graham Arnold, believe he can ‘change the game’. The Socceroos head coach spoke to the media following the final 26 being announced, reminding everyone that it wouldn’t be the first time an ‘unknown player has shocked the country’.

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On numerous occasions the Egyptian-born footballer has proven he’s a threat coming off the bench; possessing incredible speed and skill.

However, a rough road preceded the football prodigy’s rise. Kuol was born in a refugee camp, following his parents’ decision to flee war-torn South Sudan. Six years later, the family settled in Shepparton, Victoria. 

Kuol began to work his way through the local teams around the area, before joining the youth system of the Central Coast Mariners at the age of 16, eventually progressing his way to the senior side. Just under a year ago, the teenager made his A-League Men’s debut as a substitute in the Australia Cup against APIA Leichhardt. 

Kuol has since continued to gain traction in the football world. Back in May, he put on a show in front of 70,000 fans during the A-League All Stars clash. It was a dominant performance, labelled ‘a big surprise’ by Barcelona’s head coach Xavi.

The eighteen-year-old also impressed during his debut for the Socceroos in a friendly against New Zealand in September. 

His year has just kept improving, too, with the young winger recently signing a contract with rising EPL heavyweight Newcastle United. It’s been reported that before putting pen to paper for the Toon, Kuol had multiple clubs interested in signing him, including Barcelona. 

Should Kuol take to the field in Qatar, he will be one of Australia’s youngest ever representatives, like Daniel Arzani in Russia 2018. 

2022 is drawing closer to an end, but it seems inevitable there’s still at least another chapter to be written into Garang Kuol’s unreal breakout campaign.

Ashleigh Matosevic
Ashleigh Matosevic
Ashleigh is a born and bred Melbournian who has covered a number of sports since graduating with a sports journalism degree. She has a passion for Aussie rules and basketball, as well as sharing the stories about the sportspeople who captivate us. Her experience includes writing for The Inner Sanctum and Draft Central.

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