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Mabil ready to take Socceroos career to 'next stage'

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.
Matildas captain and star striker Sam Kerr sits down with ESPN to share her journey from Aussie rules to soccer and what coming home to Perth truly means.

Awer Mabil says that he is nervous about kicking off his maiden World Cup campaign, but feels he's at the stage to deliver for Australia.

The speedster, who has scored four goals in 10 appearances for the Socceroos, has joined the quest for a berth in Qatar in 2022, which starts against Kuwait on Tuesday.

Mabil will take a lot of confidence from a strong campaign with his Danish Superliga side Midtjylland, who are undefeated and top of the table after winning seven of their eight matches since July.

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The 23-year-old has started nine of Midtjylland's 10 matches in all competitions and chipped in with a goal against Scotland's Rangers in the Europa League and an assist in the Superliga.

While a World Cup campaign is an even bigger responsibility, the in-form winger feels he's learned enough from his senior teammates to be expected to deliver for his country.

"Obviously I've taken a lot of things from the attacking players: [Mathew] Leckie, [Robbie] Kruse, Tom [Rogic], Aaron [Mooy], all these guys," Mabil said.

"They're a great example because they've been here for years and they've been doing it so I'm trying to learn as much as I can from them, and you know these guys, and the whole team behind us, the defence, the midfielders, Mark [Milligan], Trent [Sainsbury], all these guys play a big part in our team.

Awer Mabil
Awer Mabil says that he is nervous about kicking off his maiden World Cup campaign, but feels he's at the stage to deliver for Australia.

"As a young player you can only just sit back and observe them and try to learn because they have so much to offer and it depends how you take it onboard and I think I am an observer and I observe a lot, and I think I'm ready for the next stage."

Mabil is still nervous about the match, despite scoring in Australia's 4-0 win over Kuwait in their last meeting, but he thinks that could be a positive.

"I'm nervous for the World Cup qualifiers because it's my first and I've watched it on TV, you know people going through the World Cup phases and to be part of it now at the start of it is [making me] nervous, but at the same time I'm ready to capitalise on that nerve," he said.

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