Teenage striker Abraham Majok says his rise to the big leagues has been a “blessing” as he celebrates inking his first professional contract today.
After less than a year with the Wanderers, the 18-year-old Academy product will be now be a fully-fledged member of the club’s Hyundai A-League squad for the next two years at least.
It’s an achievement that becomes all the more impressive when you learn of the path the now-Blacktown boy has travelled.
Majok was born in a Kenyan refugee camp to South Sudanese parents and in 2005, together with his mother grandmother and nine siblings, arrived in Australia in search of new beginnings.
Looking back, the softly-spoken Majok says he feels grateful to be where he is now.
“It’s been really amazing to be honest,” Majok says of the past 12 years in Australia.
“It was difficult at the start but I’ve gotten used to it. You learn new things, a different culture, a different language.
“It’s good to be in a place where you have opportunities and comforts.”
Settling in Western Sydney, Majok was first took up the game when he was nine years old, crediting his mother in particular for encouraging him in those early years.
He would go on to hone his skills with Spirit FC and Mt Druitt Town Rangers, from where he was handpicked to play for the Red & Black’s youth team after a series of impressive performances—including a brace against the Wanderers themselves.
Despite having only been at the club for a short time, Majok says his game has developed out of sight.
“I’ve learnt everything: about the difficulty of the game, the need to improve, to keep working hard.
“The environment that you’re in can be difficult, so you’ve just got to try and adjust and mature.”
Mature he did, as Majok would soon find himself training regularly with the first team and on 21 February this year, he would make his first team debut—starting in the Red & Black’s first 2017 AFC Champions League match against Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds.
Another two appearances for the first team would follow, including an off-the-bench bow against Shanghai SIPG in China.
As he prepares to embark on the next chapter in his fledgling career, Majok says his origins in Kenya have taught him not to take anything for granted.
“Although home was good compared to this, it’s not the same.
“It gives me that extra motivation when I’m on the pitch or doing anything in general to push myself because it always reminds me of where I came from to what I have now.
“It’s just a dream come true.”