Celebrating the 2020 Nike National Team kit launch with our Socceroos migrant stories

To celebrate the release of the 2020 Nike Socceroos kit, the Socceroos channel will be looking at the migrant stories that diversify our current Socceroos but unite them in Green and Gold.

With 30% of Australians born overseas and 49% having at least one parent born overseas, the national teams’ story is a migrant story.

Since 1922, Socceroos sides have boasted players originating from over 40 different countries and the current squad is no different. They come from diverse backgrounds but are united in green and gold.

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Current Socceroos born overseas include Martin Boyle and Harry Souttar, who were both born in Scotland, while Awer Mabil is of South Sudanese descent but was born in Kenya prior to coming to Australia as a refugee.

Then there is Awer Mabil’s childhood friend, Thomas Deng, who was also a South Sudanese refugee when he arrived in Adelaide as a youngster.

Thomas Deng and Awer Mabil
Thomas Deng and Awer Mabil

Milos Degenek was born in the Croatian town of Knin, while James Jeggo hails from Vienna where he spent two years with his hometown club Austria Wien and Apostolos Giannou was born in the Greek town of Naousa.

And, of course, even those Socceroos that were born in Australia come from rich and diverse roots.

Sydney-born Mustafa Amini boasts both Afghan (father) and Nicaraguan (mother) heritage, Brisbane-boy Kenneth Dougall is a blend of Scottish and Thai ancestry, and Massimo Luongo has Italian (father) and Indonesian (mother) heritage.

There is also Tom Rogic and Danny Vukovic whose parents hail from Serbia, while Brandon O’Neill holds an Irish passport, as both his parents originate from Dublin.

Socceroos Australia
The Socceroos line up v Chinese Taipei in 2019

Adam Taggart, Jackson Irvine and Jamie Maclaren’s father’s all have Scottish backgrounds. Maclaren even represented Scotland at U19 level before pledging his allegiances to the Green and Gold.

And then there are those who have English backgrounds like Bailey Wright and Brad Smith.

Smith was another player who represented a different nation at youth level with 16 appearances amassed across England’s U17, U19 and U20 teams.

Aaron Mooy was also eligible to represent both Germany and Netherlands through his parents.

Another player with a similar story is Aziz Behich. As the son of Turkish Cypriot parents, he was eligible to represent Turkey, Cyprus or Australia.

Others do not have any migrant stories and come from the ‘big smoke’ like Mathew Leckie (Melbourne), Craig Goodwin and Brandon Borello (Adelaide), Mitchell Duke and Mathew Ryan (Sydney) and Trent Sainsbury (Perth).

While Adam Federici (Nowra), Rhyan Grant (Canowindra), Mitchell Langerak (Emerald) and Andrew Redmayne (Gosford), Josh Risdon (Bunbury) forged their path to the national team from more rural regions within Australia.

The migrant stories and diversity of our Socceroos is something to celebrate as we launch our new kit.

Awer Mabil
Awer Mabil in the new home kit