From the air Kakuma in Kenya’s north, about 14 hours pot-holed drive from Nairobi, is almost reminiscent of the small mining towns that dot the Australian landscape.
The 23-year-old Kenyan refugee-turned-Socceroos poster boy exploded onto the scene in 2015 at Adelaide United, and like many young Aussie footballers, shot off to Europe at the first opportunity, joining rising Danish powerhouses, FC Midtjylland.
It was here on the Jutland peninsula that Mabil, barely 20-years-old at the age of his departure (and only nine years after he'd first arrived in Australia) fought where most others fail. He struggled through a tough debut season and two years on loan; the latter a make-or-break campaign at Portugese club Pacos de Ferreira.
As the likes of Jason Davidson and Dylan McGowan can attest, Pacos – and Portugese football in general - is an appealing but intensely difficult beast. Mabil, however, made 26 appearances in a relegated team and returned to the Danish champions a set-in-stone starter.
Ultimately Midtjylland was an apt place for Mabil to join: the Danish Superliga has become a hotspot for Aussies abroad (Mabil recently beat fellow Socceroo Mustafa Amini’s AGF, two weeks prior it was McGowan's Vendyssel FF) and it's easy to see why.
In addition to Denmark's laid-back culture and relative English fluency, it's both an accessible league for Australians and a forgiving one, offering mid-level talents the opportunity to carve out a reliable European career.
The Superliga coincidentally follows a very similar format to Australia - a 26 game regular season, followed by a top-six contended finals series. And while it's debatable whether the Superliga's quality is markedly higher than the A-League's, Denmark is a gateway to the lucrative European mainland.
But there is more to Midtjylland than merely a stepping stone over the yawning chasm between Australian football and Europe's best.
The club's emphasis on youth development is particularly notable. Breaking from its historically stable mid-table existence, over the past decade a sterling youth academy has shot Midtjylland up both the Danish and European ranks (they now sit directly above former French champions Lille and Bordeaux in the UEFA club coefficient).
This is a club that, while Mabil was on loan to Esbjerg, beat Manchester United in the Europa League. Of particular interest are their partnerships with over 100 youth football clubs as far away as Nigeria.
Reigning Danish champions, Midtjylland sit five points behind traditional powerhouses FC Copenhagen mid-way through the Danish Championship Round. In Denmark, following the conclusion of the regular season, the top six teams each play each other in a home-and-away fixture, with end of season points tally, rather than a Grand Final, determining the champion.
Midtjylland will need to steal points off their capital-opposition to ensure one Socceroo this year wins a European title. However Mabil also has a chance at silverware – and a possible Danish double – with when they face Brondby in the Danish Cup final on April 18.
The Aussie’s starry European exploits have won him rave admirers in Denmark and a trophy-laden conclusion would be just-desserts. But his continental achievements still pale in comparison to the larger impact he’s made upon the football world this season.