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Newcastle United teenager named in World Cup squad despite never starting a first team game yet

1 year ago

Only 39 days after signing for Newcastle United, exciting teenage striker Garang Kuol finds himself off to the Qatar World Cup.

The 18 year old has made only one appearance for his country, coming on as a sub for Australia in a win over New Zealand, only a few days before signing for Newcastle in later September.

Graham Arnold selecting Garang Kuol, even though the NUFC teenager is yet to start a single game in first team club football.

The Aussie A-League kicked off its season in October and Kuol has continued to dazzle off the bench, the forward continuing to play for Central Coast Mariners to get as much first team football as possible, before his move to Newcastle United will formally go through when the transfer window opens in January.

The last two games for Central Coast Mariners have seen Garang Kuol introduced in the second-half at 2-0 down and 0-0, both matches seeing the teenager spark big turnarounds, helping his team to win 4-2 and 3-0.

The young striker now has twelve career sub appearances and 293 minutes of A-League football played, with four goals so far and now getting regular assists.

Full Australia 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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