After re-joining the Mariners earlier this month, Alou Kuol has felt right at home in his first few days back on the Central Coast for pre-season.
The striker, who previously played 30 matches for the Mariners before moving to VfB Stuttgart in Germany, is excited to get started ahead of a huge new campaign.
“It has been really good to be back. A few of us came back and did a little bit of work before everybody joined back up on Monday. Now that most of us are back we are just ready to start and get rolling,” he said.
“The vibe around the group over the first few days has been very good. We are now focusing on the upcoming season and the next game ahead. The first game in a few weeks is against Sydney so it is all building towards that match.”
As preparation for both the AFC Cup and our Australia Cup match against Sydney FC in mid-August, the squad are all heading to Thailand for a pre-season camp.
Kuol is eager to get started and spend time with his teammates, with the striker and the squad departing later today for the next week and a half.
“We are off to Thailand, so all of the boys are just excited to experience the new surroundings and get to play together,” he said.
“Some of the new boys coming in, we will be able to get to know each other. We will spend the next 10 days bonding and just getting ready to play.”
When asked what the major factor behind the striker returning to the Central Coast was, Kuol’s answer was clear.
The prospect of playing under Nick Montgomery and Sergio Raimundo again was all that he needed, with the duo initially bringing him to the club in 2019.
“A big factor was Monty and Sergio and the way that they spoke to me about their plans for this season. The opportunity to play back on the Coast and just the whole idea of just coming back and playing was what really gave me the green light. That’s all I want to do, play and play well,” he said.
“This is the club that gave me my first professional opportunity. Monty and Sergio being the coaches here really gave me the buzz to want to come back. After what they did last season with the team, I just really want to get amongst it and try to help do it again.”