A difficult season is ending on a high for Newcastle United youngster Garang Kuol.
The teenager scored his first goal for Hearts on Wednesday night, netting a late equaliser against Rangers at Ibrox. It prompted wild celebrations from the Aussie, who has struggled for minutes north of the border.
Kuol has not played as much as he would have liked, while fans have questioned the logic in sending him to Hearts without guarantees that he would play.
From the outside, the loan spell has looked like an absolute disaster. However, Kuol has dispelled this and explained why he has been ‘very happy’ about his time away from Newcastle United.
Garang Kuol ‘very happy’ with his loan away from Newcastle
Kuol spoke to the Edinburgh Evening News after his goal against Rangers, and provided his reaction. He also summed up his loan spell with Hearts.
“I just thought: ‘Finally!’,” he said.
“Obviously it’s been a tough period and just to get that goal was like a sigh of relief.
“It was a good moment and hopefully the first of many. It just shows perseverance and the hard work I did behind the scenes on the training pitch every day.
“People look at the game time as a negative, and obviously it’s not ideal. At the end of the day, what I’m doing in training every day is what makes me a better player.
“A lot of people look past that, look at the game time and they make it a whole negative story. I’m very happy that I came here, I’ve met some wonderful people, the coaches, and hopefully I can just keep developing.”
Next move away from Newcastle is key
It is excellent to hear that Kuol has had a positive experience with Hearts. While he would have liked to have played more, he still believes he has improved as a footballer. That is the main thing.
Given his situation as a young man moving thousands of miles away from his family, this first loan was always going to be tough. Luckily he has had home comforts at Hearts, with the Jam Tarts’ squad including multiple Australia internationals.
They will have helped Kuol settle into UK life. That is just as important as his football at this stage.
But his next loan move is even more key. He needs to continue that adaptation, whilst also playing more football. A domestic move appears to be likely, so it will be interesting to see whether Newcastle send him to the Championship or League One.
Wherever he goes, he needs to keep improving, he needs to enjoy himself, and he needs to play.