South Sudanese Refugees Make Australia World Cup Team.
Three (3) South Sudanese refugees Garang Kuol, Thomas Deng, and Awer Mabil, have been making news for qualifying to represent the Australian National Football Team (Socceroos) in the World Cup in Qatar starting on 20th November 2022.
Sports have always been a part of the life of these South Sudanese refugees. They had been playing competitive soccer since they were small children.
After they made it to Australia, they decided to try out for the Australian National Football Team (Socceroos) and qualify to share with their family the experience of representing their country on the world stage.
The Socceroos trio has said a lot about their journey from the refugee camp to the World Cup and hopes it will be a source of hope and encouragement to others.
The 27-year-old Mabil, 25-year-old Deng, and 18-year-old Kuol are all of South Sudanese origin and the first of that heritage to represent Australia from the refugee.
They were all born to South Sudanese parents that fled their homelands to settle in Australia when they were still children.
With the country becoming overcrowded with people due to wars, South Sudanese Refugees faced an uncertain future. Many residents migrate to other countries like Australia, the UK, and the USA to help the situation. In January 2019, another wave of South Sudanese refugees arrived in Melbourne.
Awer Mabil was born in a Kenyan refugee camp and was brought to Adelaide when he was ten years old. He presently plays for Cadiz in La Liga.
Thomas Deng was also born in a refugee camp in Kenya but came to Adelaide when he was six. Deng plays as a central defender for the Japanese club Albirex Niigata.
Garang Kuol, on the other hand, was born in Egypt and forced by his family when he was still a baby to come down from their home in Egypt to settle at Shepparton. He currently plays as a junior for the Central Coast Mariners club.
Mabil said that a lot of Australians know their stories, and they are proud of them. They are also honest in their stories because they are raised to be honest and are always going, to be honest.
Mabil’s story reflects the Australian identity and captures the essence of what it means to be Australian. It discusses how Australians are proud of their stories, how Australia is a great country with a unique culture shaped by its people, and how they are honest in their accounts.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold’s 26-man squad has Mabil, Deng, Kuol, and Keanu Baccus, born in South Africa, as the only four African- Australian players.
Growing up, Deng and Mabil were childhood friends. They were roommates at the Aspire Academy base, and in 2018 both made their Socceroo debuts jointly.
However, they welcomed Kuol this September after he made it to his senior international debut. Kuol insisted on joining Deng and Mhabil at their press conference when he saw them heading to the press center.
Deng said they have a strong bond with each other and understand the sacrifices their parents made for them because they have similar stories.
Australia’s national team is a source of pride for their country, and the trios have been a part of the team for some time now. They are changing how society views African migration into Australia and bringing a new wave of Australian identity.
Kuol, in his speech, said that he wants to prove to the South Sudanese kids and other kids across the globe that they can make something of themselves and that hard work leads to you getting somewhere.
On Tuesday, 22nd November 2022, the Socceroos trio will step onto the pitch of the world cup as Group D for the first against the defending champion France.
Since 2010, the Socceroos haven’t won any world cup match, as they only reached the knockout stage in 2006.
This season, the Socceroos’ qualification for the World Cup occurred after Mabil scored a crucial spot-kick against Peru in a penalty shootout.
Kuol, on the other, is taking the spotlight as the second youngest player at the World Cup in Qatar 2022 after Youssoufa Moukoko of Cameroon. Xavi Hernandez, the Barcelona manager, singly praised him earlier this year after securing a win for his team Mariners, by scoring two goals against the Blaugrana.
At the press briefing on Friday in Doha, Kuol said he could not be intimidated by Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, and the like. He said he only feels excited about playing against that caliber of players.