He stole the headlines for both club and country last season but this is only the beginning of Awer Mabil’s rise to international stardom.
It’s hard to believe Mabil was on the fringes of Danish Superliga club Midtjylland – the club he joined from Adelaide United in 2015 – less than a year ago.
But after two loan spells and countless hours spent honing his craft, the 23-year-old forward swiftly became a crucial part of manager Kenneth Andersen’s first team plans.
He was rewarded with a contract extension in October, only days after scoring on debut for the Caltex Socceroos in a friendly against Kuwait.
And the Kenya-born attacker crowned an outstanding season by helping Midtjylland lift the Danish Cup for the first time in May, scoring a crucial spot-kick in a penalty shoot-out victory over Brondby.
“I think it was just a taste of what's to come,” Mabil told www.socceroos.com.
“When I came back I wasn't really part of the plans for the season.
“I just kept my head and worked and when my chance came I took it, and became part of the plans.
“When you play regularly you get your momentum and when I was playing consistently I got my momentum.”
Mabil will return to Australia to visit family and friends after this Friday’s friendly with Korea Republic in Busan.
“Everyone is hungry to prove themselves, so its time now for everyone to take their chances,” he said.
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