Where’s our next Tim Cahill coming from? 10 future Australian superstars

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Whether you’re a keen football fan or just want to start a new save in the popular video game, Football Manager, here are my top 10 future stars of Australian football.

All players in this list are 23 years old or younger, so they have plenty of time to realise their potential and become household names. Just a quick disclaimer, this list is in no particular order.

1. Bernardo Oliveira

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The son of Adelaide United legend Cássio Oliveira, this 18-year-old winger made his debut for his father’s club in the 2021/22 A-League Men’s season at the age of 17 after showing a lot of promise in Adelaide United’s National Premier League (NPL) team.

Participating in 23 games last year, starting 10 of them, Bernardo has shown great anticipatory skills in the box, capping off last season with 3 goals.

He has also recently made his debut for the Australian Under 23 national team, while also having nine caps for the Australian under 17 national team.

2. Garang Kuol

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It has been a big 12 months for Garang Kuol.

After having a breakout season last year with Central Coast Mariners scoring four goals off the bench in only a total of 189 minutes played. These performances gave him the opportunity to be a part of the A-League All Stars team that faced Barcelona in a friendly in May. Kuol, coming off the bench he took the internet by storm when he made a brilliant run through the middle of the park beating four Barcelona defenders to have a shot on goal that only just missed the bottom left corner.

Since then, Kuol’s life has been a whirlwind, from debuting for the Under 20 national team to making his debut with the Socceroos. However, most importantly, his signing to Newcastle United in the Premier League sets up plenty of amazing opportunities for the youngster. Kuol is set to join Newcastle United on the 1st of January 2023 when the transfer window opens.

The Mariners winger will be hoping for a spot on the plane to Qatar if he can keep up his good performances in the few remaining games before the World Cup.

3. Max Caputo

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Recently named in The Guardian’s ‘Next Generation 2022: 60 of the best young talents in world football’ Max Caputo is one to watch for Melbourne City’s future in a Jamie Maclaren-free world.

Two seasons ago he became the third youngest player in A-League Men history when he came on as a substitute in the COVID-19-disrupted season.

Since then, he has been scoring goals by the bucket-loads in the Melbourne City NPL3 team, his final season total of 21 goals in 26 games was crucial in seeing the Melbourne City NPL3 team promoted to NPL2.

4. Joshua Rawlins

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After cementing his place in the first team of Perth Glory over the past two seasons, Josh Rawlins was able to fashion a move to the Dutch club, FC Utrecht.

While he has yet to make an appearance in the first team, the 18-year-old right-back has been consistently starting for Utrecht’s under-21 team in the Dutch third division.

With Rawlins only being 18, he will definitely be one for the future of the Socceroos. However, his biggest roadblock to the Socceroos will be fellow young gun right-back, Nathaniel Atkinson, who currently has a lot more first-team experience over in Scotland, where he currently plays for Heart of Midlothian.

5. Marco Tilio

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Marco Tilio rose to prominence after signing with Melbourne City after coming through the Sydney FC academy. The diminutive winger has since become an important squad option over the last three years.

Tilio has scored eight goals during his stint at the club, earning himself his debut cap for the Socceroos in 2021.

However, due to the quality that Melbourne City possess upfront Tilio struggles to get regular starts for the club which could potentially hold him back from earning a World Cup spot in Qatar next month.

6. Yaya Dukuly

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One of two Adelaide United young prospects to be signed by Stade de Reims in the French Ligue 1, this Guinean-born winger possesses loads of pace, and pure technical skill on the ball.

At only 19 years old, Dukuly is definitely one for the future, having yet to make a first-team appearance for Reims.

He is currently developing his skills for the club’s B-team in the French fourth-tier so far having made four appearances and starting two of them.

7. Mohamed Toure

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The second of the Adelaide United prospects to sign for Stade de Reims, Mohamed Toure is the middle child of the three super-talented Toure brothers.

Toure rose to prominence when he broke the ALM record for the youngest-ever scorer after converting a cross with a controlled tap into the bottom right corner.

Out of the two signees for Stade de Reims, Toure probably has the highest amount of potential if he can remain fit, which he has struggled with recently.

Nonetheless, Toure is a supremely talented player who has a bright career in front of him if he can maintain his trajectory of development.

8. Daniel Arzani

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It’s crazy to think that Daniel Arzani is only 23 considering the number of clubs that he has played for. Arzani burst onto the scene as a teenager for Melbourne City which led him to be quickly signed by Melbourne City’s sister club, Manchester City. From there Manchester City loaned him out to the Scottish giant’s Celtic where tragically he tore his ACL on his debut in 2018 which led to him not stepping onto a pitch until 2020.

This led him to bounce around different European clubs only playing a handful of games at each.

However, now Arzani is back in the A-League Men signing on to join Macarthur FC.

Arzani is one of Australia’s most exciting young players to watch, when he has the ball it feels like magic can happen at any time. This was exemplified through Macarthur’s cup run which ended up with the club winning their first piece of silverware.

If Arzani is able to remain fit and consistently have good appearances for Macarthur, he is a player who could definitely end up back in Europe again at a top club in a top league.

9. Denis Genreau

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Last season Denis Genreau played a crucial part in seeing his French club, Toulouse, win the French second-division, giving them automatic promotion to the French top flight.

In the title-winning season, the 23-year-old central midfielder participated in 30 games starting 20 of them and finishing the season with a final tally of two goals and four assists.

However, since promotion, Genreau has failed to make consistent appearances in the team having only played a grand total of 94 minutes in seven games.

He has also made his debut for the Socceroos making his debut in the World Cup qualifiers for the upcoming Qatar World Cup. Even though he is struggling for game time at the moment he possesses the necessary skills to compete at that level and hopefully, when given his chances in the future he can make the most of them.

10. Nestory Irankunda

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Another prospect from the Adelaide United production line. Nestory Irankunda is a 16-year-old winger born in Tanzania who was quick to rise through the ranks of the Adelaide United academy system.

Quickly getting into Carl Veart’s good books, the youngster has been consistently used as a squad player since last season currently having made 15 appearances for the club while scoring 3 goals.Most recently he made his national team debut for the under-17 Australian team at the most recent under-17 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers where he scored a whopping eight goals in three games.

Irankunda is an excitement machine who looks like he is going to develop into one of Australia’s future top wingers if he can remain on the same trajectory that is now. Hopefully, soon he will be given more opportunities which is going to be key for him.

Look out for him to move to a European club in the future.

Feature Image Credit: Socceroos

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Caydn Foley
Football Fanatic. Journalism student hoping to make this a career. Covering Melbourne City for the 22/23 A-Leagues season.

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