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A-League wonder kid Garang Kuol has signed his first professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners which will see him call the Central Coast home for the next two seasons, after fielding off huge interest from some of the biggest clubs in world football since his impressive cameo against giants, FC Barcelona.

Kuol joined the Mariners Academy from Shepparton in Victoria where he was overlooked by Victorian A-League teams at youth level and followed his brother Alou’s footsteps in signing for the Central Coast Mariners Academy.

During his time with the Academy, Garang watched his brother Alou rise to fame and secure a move to German Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart. Garang started in the mariners U18 program under Nick Montgomery and Sergio Raimundo as a 16-year-old, making his professional debut against APIA Leichhardt in the FFA Cup Quarter Final where he came off the bench and scored in the 6-0 win in a match where all goal scorers were under the age of 21.

From there, Kuol made appearances in each cup match including the FFA Cup Final, where he was pivotal to the Mariners’ sole goal of the match.

In the A-League, Kuol made his debut and instant impact on the competition against Wellington Phoenix in April 2022, again coming off the bench to score with virtually his first touch, this time in a 5-0 victory that brought the 17-year-old well and truly into the limelight.

Throughout the rest of the season, Kuol was used mainly as an impact substitute by Montgomery and the Egyptian born Kuol took his chance when he was on the field as he scored three goals in three matches, including the winner in the F3 Derby, the winner against eventual champions Western United and the goal that sealed the Mariners’ second consecutive finals appearance against Brisbane Roar.

Kuol became a name on the lips of many A-League fans and his season concluded with a deserved call up to the A-League All Stars squad where he set the match alight against FC Barcelona and had opposition coach Xavi speaking the praises of the 17-year-old.

At one point in the contest, Kuol dribbled through the backline with ease which only drew further interest from overseas clubs, however he wanted to remain on the Central Coast and continue his imminent development with the coaches who originally scouted him and his brother through the clubs impressive scouting network.

The down to Earth Kuol is happy to be back playing his football at the club that has done so much for his family and he wants to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

“Monty [Nick Montgomery] and Serg [Sergio Raimundo – Assistant Coach] have had belief in me since day one which something I will never forget.

“Football is my number one goal in life so I just want to be playing consistently and I am very excited to be here alongside a great bunch of boys and can’t wait for next season” Kuol added.

“This is only the start for me and I am keen to develop more, learn more and become a better player under Monty and Serg.”

Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery helped develop Garang through the Academy and now that he can work with the talented youngster for the foreseeable future is an exciting prospect.

“I brought Garang to the club as a 16-year-old into the Academy program and what he has achieved in this short space of time doesn’t surprise me as he is a massive talent.

“He is a quiet kid off the field but most importantly does his talking on the field, is lethal in front of goal and a player who likes to go at defenders 1v1 and we saw that with the performances he produced off the bench at the back end of last season” Montgomery said.

“Garang isn’t fazed by anything and is very level-headed, which is why he made Barcelona seem like an easy assignment and in the process, being an inspiration for all kids in this country. It gave our club great pride to see him make the match his own. I look forward to working with him for the next two years at the club and developing him further to become one of the A-League’s most exciting talents in a long time.”

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