Kuol leaves lasting impression after F3 Derby stalemate
Friday night’s F3 Derby may not have produced the fireworks during the 90 minutes but the performance of Central Coast Mariners teenager Alou Kuol – both during and after the match – will live long in the memory.
Kuol made his first Hyundai A-League start and did a solid job leading the attack for the Mariners against the in-form Newcastle Jets.
It was a huge moment for the 19-year-old, who has had an incredible journey to professional football, which started in war ravaged South Sudan in 2001.
At just three years of age his family fled to Egypt for 12 months before moving to Australia and setting up a life in St Mary’s in Sydney.
It was while playing – and scoring a stack of goals – for Goulburn Valley Suns that he was spotted by the Mariners, playing for the clubs Youth and NPL teams.
Having continued to impress with his performances and goals, Kuol has been given a taste of the Hyundai A-League under Alen Stajcic this season and has caught the eye.
While he had few opportunities to show his quality in attack against the Jets, it was his post-game interview which had everyone talking.
Asked about his debut, Kuol told Fox Sports’ Robbie Slater: “I was very excited obviously to make it in front of the home fans in an F3 Derby it was incredible.
“I was nervous to start but as the game went on I started to get more comfortable and more into it, a few tackles here and there. It was pretty good.”
So what about his goals for the rest of the season?
“Obviously win firstly and secondly score a goal man. Rifle ones into the top corner,” he said with a smile.
Kuol then ended the interview with a “shout-out” to friends and family, while blowing a kiss to the camera.
In a season that has had few highlights for the Mariners, the emergence of the exciting and confident Kuol is certainly an exciting prospect for the future.
While Kuol is just getting started in his professional career, Newcastle Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard is in the twilight of his and admits he was left frustrated by the result.
Needing a win to keep their faint finals hopes alive, the Jets failed to turn their territorial dominance and weight of possession into genuine chances – and ultimately goals.
“The first half, I’ve never felt so dominant in a half of football, I think we got in their box 40-something times and possession was outrageous,” Boogaard said.
“When you have that much domination you have to capitalise. Credit to [the Mariners], second half they come out and put us under more pressure.
“I don’t think we had as much control second half as we did in the first but it’s disappointing because the game was there to be won a number of times.”