Garang Kuol signed off with Central Coast Mariners in superb fashion ahead of his looming World Cup venture. The 18-year-old bagged a brace off the bench to spark a comeback that came up just short.
Kuol is hoping to transfer his growing reputation as an impact sub to the world stage beginning next week. The pacy forward, who joins Newcastle United in January, is ready to make his mark for the Australian national team.
Kuol has been interviewed this morning with Australia’s World Cup ready to kick off against France on Tuesday. ESPN has published the following comments from Kuol, who is getting a lot of attention due to his recent exploits. Here is what he said:
“I don’t really pay attention to what’s said around me. I’m mainly just focused on what I do on the field and in training and games. If I’m not playing well I’m not going to look at what’s online.
“What’s on the field is what makes me happy and gives me the motivation to keep pushing forward.
“[Becoming the youngest World Cup Socceroo ever is] just another label, it doesn’t really mean anything. I’ve just got to perform on the field and that’s what makes me the player I am.”
“It’s a very exciting experience for me. I’ve been watching the Socceroos for a long time and the World Cup is the biggest stage. So I want to prove myself.
“Of course [I can make an impact off the bench] it’s all about just having the confidence in yourself and being ruthless and having that mindset to want to create something and make an impact.
“I just want to play well, create something, and make an impact.”
Kuol made his Socceroos debut during the September international break against Chris Wood and New Zealand. Less than a week later, he was unveiled as Newcastle’s first January signing. He will likely head out on loan initially.
Australia are in Group D, which has two top European nations. They face 2018 World Cup winners France on Tuesday. European semifinalists Denmark are also in the group along with Tunisia.
Kuol was asked about squaring off against France and some of their world-class defenders. He revealed that he’s relishing the challenge:
“I wouldn’t say intimidation. I find it more exciting. To see what you can do against players of that calibre. You’ve just got to go up to it with the right mindset and work to create something.”
Newcastle fans will have a keen eye on the future Magpie over the next few weeks. His involvement should also expedite his ability to obtain a work permit. Hopefully, he gets his chance to make an impact on Tuesday against France.