Chol cracks QLD U18 team

By Beth Newman

Yeronga’s Mabior Chol will make his Queensland debut against the Northern Territory on Saturday, following in the footsteps of Sydney Swans player, Aliir Aliir.

Born in Juba, South Sudan, Chol moved to Queensland as an eight year old, the eldest of six children, before taking up AFL as a 12 year-old.

At 197cm and only 17, Chol is impossible to miss on the football field, towering over many of his teammates and displaying incredible athleticism for someone of his height.

A talented athlete, Chol is a representative long jumper and basketballer, but AFL is the mad Swans fan’s number one passion.

Chol was given his first representative opportunity in 2013, playing for the World XVIII in the National U16 Championships, before his rapid improvement saw him included in this year’s Queensland U18 team.

The long-limbed teen has been on the verge of selection early this season and was finally rewarded, chosen for this weekend’s match, Queensland’s second of the National Championships.

The ruckman/ forward is a strong marking presence, and at only 76kg can only get stronger, but it is that athleticism that makes him a genuine scene stealer in football matches.

Playing for the Queensland Diversity team in this year’s U16 state championships, Chol showed that in spades.

In many ways, he is on the way to becoming someone like his football inspiration, Adam Goodes, with Chol wanting to replicate the champions Swans’ significance to his culture.

“The things that he does on and off the field and his work with young children is absolutely amazing,” Chol said.

Chol says his heritage is something very special to him, and he harbours a hope of playing AFL football.

“I want to play at the highest level of AFL and represent my country and culture with pride,” he said.

The outgoing youngster cherishes his role in his local community, and plans to continue his contribution regardless of how football works out.

With another year of U18 football to go, Chol has plenty of upside, and AFL Queensland Academy and High Performance Coach, Adrian Fletcher says this is just the beginning for him.

“I’m excited about Mabior – he’s got a long way to go, but he’s got to believe he can get there,” he said.

“He’s always been the best player and his ability to turn up in a routine environment as improved.

“He has great leg speed, can get it in the air or on the ground and he has a great ability to learn structures.

“This is the starting point.”

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