Goals and assists fuel for Yuel’s international fire

It’s been a strong start to the season for dynamic winger Valentino Yuel and his efforts in the final third are proving invaluable to both our Jets and his nation of South Sudan on an international level.

The 27-year-old has found the back of the net on four occasions already this season – equal to what he scored over the course of his previous 33 games – and has helped out with two assists despite only starting in six games.

Additionally, his recent efforts in the Isuzu UTE A-League has earned him appearances for his national side, South Sudan where he managed to score his first international goal when the side faced Jordan in a recent friendly.

But the attack-minded livewire isn’t getting ahead of himself, especially as he’s already been in a similar position as this before.

“I think last year I got a little ahead of myself,” Yuel said.

“I’m trying to take it a game at a time.

“This year it’s about working on those small mechanics, working on the details. The more I get into those areas, the more chances come.”

Last season the skilled sideman started the season in exciting style scoring four from the first seven matches, but failed to continue that trend in the final third after only achieving one assist from the next 17.

Yuel has often showed the incredible talent that he possesses, and this season he’s looking to build that consistency as seen by his goal against Melbourne Victory which proved critical in attaining the win.

“Scoring any goals gives me confidence, because I know I can do it,” he said. “It’s good to create good goal scoring chances. When I put them away, it’s a reminder that this is what I can do.

“It also doesn’t matter if I score or assist…My main objective is to just keep on being a problem.

“I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.”

Not only is Yuel looking to continue presenting danger at a club level, but also in the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers coming in March.

While his focus is still on each A-League game as it comes, he’s aware that strong performances in the gold of the Jets will create opportunities in the green of South Sudan.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up so my main focus is here at the moment. I’m trying to do the best I can to add value to the team,” he said.

“If I keep my form up here – if I keep scoring and assisting and keep creating problems and playing well – it gives me a better chance of getting called up again.

“It’s giving me a lot of confidence. International football is different. You’ve got a whole nation depending on the players. Football is a big deal in South Sudan…It’s a bond that’s very difficult to describe.”