FORMER St Columba College student Awer Mabil has been named in the Socceroos’ 23-man squad for the crucial FIFA World Cup qualifiers, to be played this week.
Mabil will join the national team squad ahead of the Socceroos’ must-win clashes with Japan, in Tokyo, on August 31, and Thailand, in Melbourne, on September 5.
The 21-year-old ex-Adelaide United winger, who currently plays for Portugese side Pacos de Ferreira, has previously represented Australia at both under 20 and under 23 level, but is yet to receive his first senior international cap.
St Columba College head of senior school Louis de Jager said Mabil’s passion for the sport was evident when he was a student at the school.
“As a college community, we feel incredibly privileged to have witnessed Awer’s hard work and progression in his soccer career, and are very proud and thrilled of his achievements in the professional soccer arena,” he said.
The Socceroos require, at worst, four points (a win and a draw) from their final two qualifying matches to ensure automatic qualification for the World Cup, which begins in Russia on June 14, 2018.
Mr de Jager said if Mabil’s selection in the qualifying phase eventually leads to a World Cup berth, he would serve as an inspiration to the entire local community.
“To have a past student of St Columba College participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup would be an inspiration to the younger up-and-coming soccer players, not just at this school, but within the local community and even country-wide,” he said.
“It would show young sportspeople, of every discipline, that with determination, and a dream, it is possible to be amongst the best in our country.”