Despite doom and gloom around the A-League, a fresh group of teens across the league are poised to inject a shot of charisma and talent to next season’s competition.
Club: Central Coast Mariners
Shepparton’s finest on the A-League stage.
We got a brief taste of the Kuol charisma last season.
The African-born striker racked up the views with his brilliantly off-the-cuff post-match interview with Fox after his starting debut in January.
He’s a talented striker, though.
Under the guidance of Mariners great and now the club’s youth coach Nick Montgomery, Kuol has flourished since arriving in 2019.
And he helped the Mariners win the NSW NPL 2 trophy last weekend.
Kuol shone up top and got on the scoresheet.
In fact, Central Coast won both the U20s and senior NPL titles.
This demonstrates the club has a rich teenage talent pipeline ready to excite fans on the Coast.
And leading the way for the new generation of Mariners is Kuol.
He was scouted by FTBL over a year ago, after his mentor, former Wimbledon striker Craig Carley helped give Kuol first-team football in Victoria's NPL when he was just 15.
Club: Newcastle Jets
Two seasons ago, the then 17-year-old become the third youngest ever Jets debutant.
He came on for the final 20 minutes in a 6-1 thrashing of Brisbane Roar.
Simmons was taking his HSC at St Francis Xavier's College when he first appeared for the Jets A-League side.
The Kotara South Tigers junior is tipped to have a breakthrough season in 2021, now that he’s completed his schooling and has two seasons in and around the senior side.
Simmons has been playing in Newcastle's youth team in the Northern NSW NPL since he was 15 years old. And under former UK professional Carl Robinson, there’s no better mentor for this Aussie teenager.
Club: Western United
Duzel arrived in the United camp at the start of last season on a scholarship deal.
And almost immediately the central midfielder was off to Brazil with the Joeys.
That international trip, albeit limited game time, was a good learning experience.
The guidance he gained throughout the season saw “Duza” begin to shine by season’s end.
His confidence is growing on the ball.
And with a developing physique, this skillful former Melbourne City midfielder could really step up next season at the Green and Black.
Expect Duzel Jnr (his Dad Ivan played NSL football) to flourish under Mark Rudan and his coaching team's guidance.