African Football Players in The Australian League
Africa has a great pedigree for footballing talent, and that has been shown around the world with the number of players playing for the biggest clubs having moved over from African countries.
Some of the biggest clubs in Europe boast talented African players, including Leicester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool, with the latter having both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane playing their football at the club.
However, it isn’t just in Europe that African players have made their mark, as some players have made a fine career for themselves in the top league in Australia. But, which players are playing their sport in the A-League this season?
Cameroonian international Olivier Boumal is currently playing his football in the top-tier of the Australian soccer pyramid.
He has been with the Newcastle Jets since 2021 but is yet to make his professional debut with the club.
He put pen to paper on a deal with the Jets at the beginning of August, and he will represent the eleventh club of his career when the A-League season gets underway. His most productive period came between 2016 and 2017, as he played for Greek club Panathinaikos.
However, injury cut short his time at the club, as he moved on to the Chinese Super League side Liaoning Whowin in 2017.
The final club that he played for before the Jets was Saburtalo Tbilisi, where he played for a season between 2020 and 2021. During his career, he has represented Cameroon on six occasions.
Adam Traore has been a regular player in the A-League since bursting into the scene in 2009. The 31-year-old started out in the A-League with Gold Coast United, where he spent three years between 2009 and 2012.
He played 69 times for United, and scored three goals, before moving to Melbourne Victory. Traore stayed at the Victory for two years, as he played 46 times for the club and scored one goal.
However, after that stint, he moved to Europe and played for the Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes and then Swiss giants Basel.
During his time in Switzerland, he would win the Swiss Super League on three occasions, and the Swiss Cup once. During his time at Basel, he also played in the Champions League on ten occasions.
However, he moved back to Australia in the summer of 2019, as he rejoined the Melbourne Victory. He played 40 games during his second stint with the club, before deciding to move onto the Western Sydney Wanderers after his deal with the Victory expired at the beginning of June.
Elvis Kamsoba is currently the only player from Burundi that is playing his football in the A-League and has been a prominent fixture in the Australian game throughout his career.
He came through the FFSA NTC youth setup, before signing for Playford City. His big break came when he joined the Melbourne Knights in 2017, and he played a prominent part in helping the club avoid relegation, scoring six goals during the 2017 season.
He was then signed by Avondale FC, but excellent performances soon caught the attention of A-League clubs. The 25-year-old first moved to Melbourne Victory, where he played for two years between 2019 and 2021.
His time at the Victory was a huge success, as he ended the 2020-21 season as the club’s joint-top scorer. His contract came to an end at the conclusion of the most recent season, and he was quickly picked up by Sydney FC on a two-year deal, and he will likely be an important player for them next season.
Valentino Yuel has worked very hard to get to the top of the A-League pyramid. The 26-year-old needed to get a club the hard way after he left Western United in 2020.
During that season, he made just nine appearances and failed to score. However, after being without a club for nearly three months, he was offered a contract by the Newcastle Jets after a trial period.
Yuel has now been with the Jets since 2020 and has played in 24 games, scoring four goals. It was during his time with the A-League club that he also received his first call up to the South Sudan national team.
Yuel will likely play a pivotal role for the coming season with the Jets, as they look to improve on their eleventh place finish last season, where they won just five games in 26 outings.