Urawa Red Diamonds defender Thomas Deng has chronicled his footballing journey and rise to the Australian nation team on a new podcast designed to promote the success of African-Australian football talent.

The 23-year-old discusses his career – from his formative years as a new arrival in South Australia, his rise to the A-League with Melbourne Victory, his Socceroos debut with lifelong friend Awer Mabik, qualifying for the Olympics and his recent move to the J-League. 

Deng’s chat is courtesy of a podcast developed by Football Empowerment in partnership with Professional Footballers Australia.

Football Empowerment is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to celebrate Victoria’s diverse African-Australian communities and encourages the development of African-Australian youth footballers from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.

🎙️ Click here to listen to ‘Empowered by Football’ 🎙️

As part of their ongoing commitment to supporting their community, Football Empowerment delivers free soccer programs designed to improve the health and wellbeing of young people from refugee, migrant, CALD and low socioeconomic backgrounds. 

The organisation uses football programs as a capacity-building approach to engage and mentor the participants in order to provide direct opportunities to up-skill and develop future pathways. 

In episode one of ‘Empowered by Football’, host Bilal Ali is joined by the A-League Championship winner, with Deng’s story likely to inspire the next generation of African-Australian players.

“Coming to Australia, first and foremost, was a bit scary and daunting because you don’t really know what to expect, you know you’re going to a new country and you have to adapt to the new culture and try to be accepted for who you are,” Deng said on Empowered by Football.

“I think football played a big part in me making that transition and feel more comfortable. It made it easier making friends and having something to do in your spare time. Football was a big part of who I am today.”

🎙️ Click here to listen to ‘Empowered by Football’ 🎙️