Credit: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Ahead of upcoming friendlies against New Zealand, Graham Arnold has called up a 31 man squad to compete for a coveted spot in the team that will undergo Australia’s World Cup campaign in November.

Among the players provided with the opportunity, the most notable selection is that of 17 year old Garang Kuol, who only made his professional debut in December. Since then, he has impressed enough to feature in the A-League All Stars team which took on FC Barcelona in May, in which he dropped a performance that Barcelona boss Xavi described as “unbelievable.”

Now reportedly being scouted by football giants FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC and Newcastle United FC, Kuol undoubtedly has a future overseas if he continues to impress, and may get an offer as soon as the January transfer window opens. However, he must first work for his World Cup spot as he hopes to make his debut in the upcoming friendly matches. 

Facing the press soon after the announcement of the squad, which came just before Kuol’s 18th birthday, he spoke about having an old VHS tape compilation of Socceroos highlights which he and his brothers used to watch repeatedly, and described his own call up to the team as “one of the sickest things ever.”

Kuol is yet to play a full 90 minutes for his club, the Central Coast Mariners, however, the forward has served as a ‘super-sub,’ coming on to impact most games he has played in. Socceroos boss, Graham Arnold, has said that he is willing to take a look at the squad, and play his athletes based on their quality and ability rather than their age.

Kuol is part of seven new call ups to the Socceroos, all of which will be hoping to make their debuts against New Zealand and aiming to secure a spot in the World Cup squad. These upcoming friendlies are the final opportunity to do so prior to the World Cup selection deadline. 

“I’m excited to see a number of young Australians gaining great experience across Europe and throughout Asia,” Graham Arnold said to the press this morning, “It is important we bring them into the national team environment to build on our depth and assess their capabilities at this level.” 

Undoubtedly, Garang Kuol will be under the watchful eye of many in the upcoming games, as he works to secure not only a World Cup spot, but a potential overseas deal in January.  

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