Socceroos squad for New Zealand friendly: 17yo freak Garang Kuol among seven debutants
Garang Kuol has been selected in Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad for the friendlies against New Zealand.
The 31-man squad is a big step in Arnold deciding on his final squad for the Qatar World Cup, beginning in November.
Kuol is one of seven debutants selected in the squad announced on Wednesday morning.
Cameron Devlin, Jason Cummings, Ryan Strain, Harrison Delbridge, Tyrese Francois and Keanu Baccus have also been selected to make a potential Socceroos debut.
The absence of star Tom Rogic was just as notable with the Socceroos weapon overlooked because of his lack of recent match experience.
The 29-year old playmaker – who had been without a club since parting ways with Scottish champions Celtic in May – this week signed a year-long deal with English Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion.
17-year-old Kuol has been rewarded for his spectacular campaign with the Central Coast Mariners this summer where he only made his professional debut in December.
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The talented forward is reportedly being scouted by European clubs following his electrifying performance in the A-League All Stars exhibition against Spanish giant Barcelona in May where Barcelona boss Xavi said he had been impressed watching Kuol in action.
Following that performance, Kuol signed his first ever professional football contract — a two year deal with the Mariners — but his future may lie overseas.
He fronted the press alongside Arnold on Wednesday morning and was bursting with pride.
He described his selection just one day before his 18th birthday as “one of the sickest things ever”.
Arnold made a public plea for his players to impress him as he begins to form his World Cup plans.
The series against New Zealand begins at Suncorp Stadium on September 22. The Return leg is at Eden Park on September 25.
“This camp is the last opportunity we will have to work with the squad ahead of November’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament, and all players are competing for a spot in the final squad which will be announced in early November,” Arnold said.
“With two games in four days, this camp provides us with a unique opportunity to bring in some new players who can push for selection ahead of the FIFA World Cup.”
“I’m excited to see a number of young Australian’s gaining great experience across Europe and throughout Asia, and it is important we bring them into the national team environment to build on our depth and assess their capabilities at this level,” continued Graham Arnold.
“We have been closely monitoring our players since qualifying for the FIFA World Cup and are regularly speaking with them about this opportunity.
“I can’t wait to get back into camp to work with our experienced group of players and the next generation of emerging stars.”
Full Socceroos squad for New Zealand friendly