In the next instalment of the 'Generations of Australians' series, we look into the life of Awer Mabil and the remarkable women who helped him achieve his dreams. Watch the full feature in the video below.
For many of the Socceroos, there was a special person who made the journey to start a new life in Australia, and for Mabil, that person was his mother.
Mabil’s mother, Agot Dau Atem, not only started her son’s journey to the national team, but she supported his dreams to represent the Green and Gold.
The Socceroos attacker sent a video message and a personalised Nike Australia 2020/21 home jersey to his family home in Adelaide as a gift to say thank you.
In the video message, he started by thanking his mother Agot for allowing him to chase his childhood dreams.
‘’I remember the drives we used to do to take me to training and games,’’ Mabil said.
‘’I know you have sacrificed a lot for me to chase my dreams, therefore I am very grateful and I can never thank you enough.
‘’I hope this small gift is a little thank you for helping me along the way.
‘’I hope you like this jersey; I love you very much and take care.’’
After receiving the personalised ‘’MABIL’’ 11 jersey, his mother responded by thanking her son for the gift and expressing how proud she is of the FC Midtjylland winger.
All of Mabil’s achievements would not have been possible if it were not for Agot, who also gave Socceroos.com.au an insight into the hardship the family faced before landing in Australia.
Hailing from South Sudan, Agot suffered the horrors of a civil war that forced her to live and raise a young family in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp.
After years of adversity, a humanitarian program helped to relocate the single mother and her two children to Adelaide in search of a better life.
”When we arrived in Kakuma refugee camp, it was United Nations that looked after us and the life you live is a dedication to what United Nations did and provided for you,’’ she explained.
‘’My cousin sponsored me to come to Australia with my children Mabil, Awer and Bor.’’
‘’When we arrived here our lives changed for the better.’’
In spite of all the hardship that Kakuma provided, it was the place where her son was first introduced to the world game.
A game that would ultimately change their lives forever.
Upon arrival in Adelaide, there was only one thing on Mabil’s mind and that was creating a professional career for himself.
Despite his lack of tactical and positional knowledge from playing barefoot in Kakuma with a ball made out of rolled-up clothes, his raw talent was clear to see.
It did not take long for former Socceroo Tony Vidmar to identify Mabil’s gift and sign him to the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI).
After an impressive two years with SASI, Mabil was invited to train with the Adelaide United youth team, and his determination again shone through.
At the age of 17, he became one of Adelaide’s youngest ever debutants.
Agot praised her son’s strength of character and thanked the game for the impact it has had on their family.
‘’I’m proud of Awer and all my children,’’ she said.
‘’If a child puts his mind into something and achieves it, that gives me pride. I am very happy.
‘’Awer is where he is today because of Australia and Adelaide United.
‘’Everything is god’s gift and me coming to Australia was a very huge moment in my life.
‘’My mum is not here, and my dad is not here so I got lucky to come to Australia.
‘’I got lucky that my son is playing for the Australian team and to be where he is now.’’
As a supportive mother, Agot believed that her son possessed something special but not even she thought Mabil would reach the heights that he has.
‘’When I came to Australia, I didn’t think one of my children would do something great,’’ she said.
‘’Every day I talk to my children and tell them, ‘this country has allowed us to come here so do something good for yourself and do something good for the country.’
‘’To be here in this country is a very big happiness in my life."
Regardless of her son now living on the other side of the world, Agot still manages to speak to Mabil on a daily basis.
‘’I always speak to Awer morning, lunch and night,’’ Agot explained.
‘’Whenever he is not busy, we speak a lot because he always must check up on the family.
‘’I always give Awer advice when I speak to him on the phone.
‘’I advise him to look after himself, take care and to be a good boy.’’
There is no doubt that Agot has helped to keep Mabil grounded on his quest to inspire future generations.
But she has not done it all on her own, and she was quick to thank all the fans out there for supporting Mabil on his journey.
‘’I am so proud of how people are treating my son,’’ Agot said.
‘’I love seeing them happy when Awer scores goals, and I love how they come together.
‘’I love this country and I love Denmark for how they are treating him.’’