Garang Kuol joins Hearts

22 June 2023

The 18-year-old, who featured at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, joins the Jambos from Premier League side Newcastle United until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.

A sensation in Australia, Garang came through the academy at Central Coast Mariners before making his senior debut in December 2021.

Then a teammate of Kye Rowles, he capped off his A-League bow with a goal in April 2022, and would go on to score four times in his first seven games for the Mariners, netting seven goals in 22 overall appearances.

That form alerted some of Europe’s biggest clubs and in September of last year Garang agreed a pre-contract deal with Newcastle, officially moving to St James’ Park on January 1st.

Garang’s talents have also been recognised on the international stage. Having been capped for Australia U20s, he was called up to the senior squad for the Socceroos’ friendly matches against New Zealand last September.

His rise continued when Graham Arnold named him in the Australia squad for the World Cup Finals, alongside Rowles, Nathaniel Atkinson and Cammy Devlin. That call up earned him the title of the youngest ever player to make an Australia World Cup squad, and he would go on to feature against eventual runners-up France and eventual winners Argentina in Qatar.

After being introduced to the club last week, Garang has decided that Hearts is the best place to be for next stage of his development, a fact that has left Robbie Neilson a happy man.

Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, the manager said: “It’s fantastic news that Garang has committed himself to Hearts for the next six months.

“It’s no secret that we were extremely interested in him and he came up for a look around last week. He was impressed with what he saw and what we’re trying to do here, which is pleasing.

“We’re getting a player who is by no means the finished article but there is a lot of talent there – you don’t get called up to and play in the World Cup for nothing.

“He’ll offer us new options going forward as we look to continue our good form and continue to make progress in the league and in the Scottish Cup, and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”

Sporting Director Joe Savage said: “We’re thrilled to be able to get this deal done and welcome Garang to Gorgie.

“His talents were courted by some of the biggest clubs in the continent when he was playing in Australia and he went on to play in the World Cup finals, so to be able to bring such an exciting prospect to Hearts speaks volumes about the appeal of our club.

“I have to extend a big thank you to Kwaku Mensah and Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi and Dan Ashworth for placing their trust in us and helping to bring Garang here.

“We’re all really looking forward to Garang pulling on the maroon jersey and I know our fans will be excited by him too.”