Smiling winger ready to get down to serious business in the UAE
Livewire forward Awer Mabil has announced himself to Socceroos fans in recent months with some electrifying performances, as well as two goals in his four international appearances so far.
As the 23-year-old looks forward to Australia’s opening match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ against Jordan on Sunday, 6 January (10pm AEDT) one thing is for certain: he will enjoy the experience with a beaming smile on his face, while working hard for his team.
LOOKING FORWARD: Nabbout ready to shoulder responsibility
LIVE BLOG: Keep across all the latest from Socceroos camp
BROADCAST: How to watch Australia at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™
PREVIEW: What to expect from Australia v Jordan on Sunday 6 January
“My personality is always to enjoy - enjoy life and also to enjoy myself on the field,” says the player who capped a fine performance by scoring his second international goal in last weekend’s 5-0 victory over Oman.
“And I feel like I have that role now to make young kids or people who come to watch enjoy the game, and also win. If you can win and make it fun, it’s best for the fans.
“Growing up I was a big fan going to games and watching people play. When I see someone doing something entertaining I want to come back.”
Mabil, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp to South Sudanese parents, has settled well with the Socceroos and insists the success of the team comes ahead of everything else.
“My job is easy - it is to make goals and assists,” he said. “It is probably the best job, but we must not forget the other part, which is being part of a team. So we have to work as a collective and then the goals will come, it doesn’t matter who scores them.”
Alongside fellow African-Australian Thomas Deng - who supplied the assist for Mabil’s first Socceroos goal, against Kuwait in October 2018 - Mabil is keen to act as a role model for other young people following in his footsteps.
“A lot of people focus on the negatives which doesn't cover everything. There’s two sides to the story, you can't just generalise people on just one thing or a few individuals,” he said.
“So it was really nice to open doors for African-Australians, to show them that you can do something with your life and if you want your dreams you just have to work hard.
“Football has given me everything. The best part is that I can express myself. When I play football I don’t think of anything else but just to have fun and enjoy.”
'We have to thank Australia for giving us this opportunity': The magnificent mix of the Caltex Socceroos
Australia is a melting pot, and nothing illustrates that more than the country's national team, the Caltex Socceroos. Harmony Day, held each year on March 21, is Australia’s celebration of cultural diversity.
McGree and Genreau eager to play crucial role on road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Key Australia U-23s midfielder Riley McGree has declared he and his teammates are ‘ready and acclimatised’ to the stifling conditions in Cambodia, as they embark on qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Australia face hosts Cambodia on Saturday morning (AEDT) in c
Confirmed: Australia's group for inaugural FIFA eNations Cup
Australia's group for the inaugural FIFA eNations Cup has been confirmed after the draw took place early on Tuesday morning (AEDT) in Zurich. Australia has been drawn into Group D alongside Portugal, Russia, Denmark and Netherlands, while 15 more nations were sorted into Group
23s show good signs against tough Tigers team
Australia U-23 National Team Head Coach Graham Arnold believes Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Malaysia U-23 at the Shah Alam Stadium close to Kuala Lumpur was the ‘perfect’ preparation for his squad leading up to Friday’s 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualification opener against Cambodia i