Congratulations to Awer Mabil who was named 2023 Young Australian of the Year on January 25 for his work off-the-pitch in establishing Barefoot to Boots, a charity which provides boots and funding to support children in refugee camps in Sudan.
Mabil is currently playing with AC Sparta Prague in Czechia.
Mabil is Socceroos cap #597, and has played 31 games for the senior national team for 8 goals.
Here is the excerpt on Awer Mabil from the Encyclopedia of Socceroos Centenary Edition 1922 to 2022 by Andrew Howe.
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Awer Mabil lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for his ﬁrst 11 years, near the border of South Sudan from where his parents had ﬂed.
He moved with his family to Adelaide in 2006, linking up with Playford City and Salisbury East juniors. Following a short stint with the Campbelltown senior side in 2012 he joined Adelaide United (2012–2015), where he won the 2012–2013 national youth league player of the year and 2014 Football Federation Australia Under-20 male player of the year, and was part of the 2014 national cup winning team (W1-0 v Perth Glory).
He moved to Danish club Midtylland in 2015, playing occasionally throughout his ﬁrst season in Denmark’s top tier, before loan stints with Esbjerg (Denmark, 2016–2017) and Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal, 2017–2018). Returning to Midtylland (2019–2021), he was a regular starter in its 2019–2020 championship-winning season, and runners-up seasons in 2018–2019 and 2020–2021.
He went on loan to Turkish side Kasimpasa in early 2022, and in mid-2022 signed with Spanish La Liga club Cadiz.
Mabil scored soon after being substituted on in his ﬁrst game for the senior national side in October 2018, in a friendly against Kuwait in Kuwait City (W4-0). He had previously represented Australia at Under-19 level including at the 2014 ASEAN and Asian Championships. At the senior Asian Cup in 2019 he scored twice in ﬁve appearances, and he played in 17 World Cup qualiﬁers throughout 2019 to 2022, including both ﬁnal playoff games against United Arab Emirates (W2-1) and Peru (D0-0, won on penalties) in Doha.
He scored the ﬁnal goal in the penalty shootout against Peru, leading to victory after Peru’s following and ﬁnal shot was saved.
Photo: Football Australia