Teenage attacker Garang Kuol has just been with Newcastle United for 39 days, and now he’s heading to the World Cup in Qatar.
The 18-year-old has only played once for his nation, a few days before signing for Newcastle in late September. He entered as a substitute in Australia’s victory over New Zealand.
Graham Arnold has chosen Garang Kuol, a youngster at NUFC who has never started a game for the club’s main team.
The Australian A-League season began in October, and Kuol has continued to impress off the bench for Central Coast Mariners while he waits for the January transfer market to open so that he can officially join Newcastle United.
Garang Kuol has come on in the second half of Central Coast Mariners’ previous two games, both of which were tied at halftime (2-2 and 0-0), and both times he has helped inspire a significant turnaround, with his club going on to win (4-2 and 3-0), respectively.
The teenage forward has scored four goals in 293 minutes of A-League action in twelve substitute appearances, and is already a consistent contributor with assists.
Australia’s Full 26-man World Cup Squad:
Mat Ryan (capt), Nathaniel Atkinson, Keanu Baccus, Aziz Behich, Martin Boyle, Jason Cummings, Milos Degenek, Thomas Deng, Cameron Devlin, Mitchell Duke, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Fran Karacic, Joel King, Garang Kuol, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Riley McGree, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Redmayne, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Danny Vukovic, Bailey Wright
Australia have a tough group in Qatar, up against France, Tunisia and Denmark.The Australia squad will begin assembling in Qatar on Saturday, with the full squad to train together in Doha for the first time on Monday.
Graham Arnold saying this when announcing his squad:
“It has been a unique and difficult qualification campaign and we now arrive in Qatar with an exciting squad which will do everything to make Australia proud on the world stage.
“We have worked hard to give younger players an opportunity over the campaign, to expose them to international football, to test them against the best.
“And I’m thrilled with the development and maturity of this group who now get a chance on the biggest stage possible.”
Brilliant experience for Garang Kuol at such a young age and having continued to make such a good impression when coming off the bench in league matches, it isn’t impossible to imagine the Newcastle United teenager getting a similar chance in these upcoming matches at the World Cup.
Kuol becomes the second Newcastle United player confirmed for the World Cup, with Bruno Guimaraes named in the Brazil squad on Monday.
Gareth Southgate is expected to name his squad on Thursday, with a number of Newcastle United players awaiting that news with interest.
The A-League and Central Coast Mariners are due to kick off again on 11 December 2022 but of course remains to be seen whether the Australia squad make it into the later stages, unlikely but who knows.
When the A-League resumes (after the World Cup), Central Coast Mariners only have five games in December before Garang Kuol would formally become a Newcastle United player when we get to January 2023.
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