Mabil giving Midtjylland his all

Australia youth international Awer Mabil believes he is on the way to proving the faith shown in him by defending Danish champions FC Midtjylland has been far from misplaced.

FC Midtjylland vs SSC Napoli

Awer Mabil of FC Midtjylland in action during the UEFA Europa League match between FC Midtjylland vs SSC Napoli on October 22, 2015 in Herning, Denmark. Source: Getty Images

The 20-year-old Olyroos winger, who is just five months into a five-year deal at a club competing on the dual fronts of the Danish Superliga and UEFA Europa League (UEL) is looking for a third successive appearance, to make it eight for the season, in the crucial group game against Club Brugge on Friday.

The South Sudanese refugee joined Midtjylland from Adelaide United, and Victory will see FC Midtjylland into the knockout stages of the UEL.

Mabil aims to be front and centre as his evolution from raw Adelaide rookie to continental class act gathers momentum.

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“The club have given me time to adapt and have not put any pressure on me, but slowly I am getting more game time going in to the break (a 12-week winter hibernation from domestic football in the freezing far north),” Mabil said.

“We have one more game after the Brugge match, and I just want to build on what I’ve manged so far. I am doing okay. It’s all about game time and the more I play the sharper I will get.

“This year is my learning season.  It’s about adapting to the league and the next year is about showing what I’ve learned.

“I am at the best club in Denmark. We won the league last year and we are third this year and fighting for the championship.

“It’s a good club and a hard team to break into, and I am just thankful that I am playing now and taking the opportunities that I’m given.

“We have a good chance of progressing, and this club has aspirations to play in the Champions league, so it’s important we qualify.

“We’re second in our group and if we beat Brugge, we go through.”

Mabil said it was the finer details that matter in a side led by former Denmark U-21 coach Jess Thorup.

“It’s the small things that count, like improving the defensive part of your game," he said.

“I am surprised how good some players are here, and our coach is great with the younger players, and I think I will develop more under him.”

The club plan to mould Mabil into player who can ultimately be exported to one of Europe’s elite leagues, just as it did with New Zealand international defender Winston Reid, who is now with West Ham United.

Mabil, who has made six appearances for the Olyroos, is making his club his top priority, after some recent disappointments with the Under-23s.

“Of course you never say no to the national team, but if don’t get picked it won’t bother me because I am happy where I am and I see a lot of progress,” he said.

“If I do well for my club, there’s no reason why the national team won’t come calling.

“But it’s not a question for me of thinking that if I don’t  get picked I am not doing well.

“I have learned mentally now after being in camps and not playing much.

“Of course, it’s bothered me a bit because when you travel across the world and don’t play much it’s very frustrating.

“But I have learned not to let those little things affect you, and just be strong and develop as a player. If it’s meant to happen, then it will happen if I work hard.”


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4 min read
Published 9 December 2015 at 1:51pm
By David Lewis
Source: SBS