He may have only touched down on Australian shores five months ago, but Central Coast Mariners forward Jason Cummings has already become a cult hero in Australian football circles.
With his humorous personality and antics in post-match interviews and off the pitch providing much entertaining fans and media alike, he also played a key role in his team’s unlikely charge to the finals. Playing in 21 matches, the Scotsman would go on to score 10 goals and assisting six more as Nick Montgomery’s side finished in the top six for the second year running.
His performances and popularity was confirmed by his selection in the A-League All-Stars squad that took on Spanish giants Barcelona in Sydney. Cummings started and featured for 57 minutes as the All-Stars fought valiantly in a 3-2 defeat.
Speaking exclusively to Kick360 at the Dolan Warren Medal ceremony, he described the experience of going toe-to-toe with some legends of the game.
“It was amazing man! It’s not everyday that you get to play Barcelona with some of their players in that team are incredible. Dani Alves, legend; Busquets, he had a cigar the whole game just chilling man.
“It was a pleasure to play against these top players and obviously Xavi the manager. It was a crazy experience for me personally and everyone else as well, and it was a good occasion for the A-League.”
“I feel like we’ve done the A-League proud as well. A lot of people would have expected a bit of a whitewash for Barcelona, and we turned up and we gave them a good go, so all the boys were super proud of that.”
One All-Star who set the game alight was Cummings’ Mariners teammate Garang Kuol. His electrifying performance caught the attention of many at the ground and watching at home; and Cummings was effusive in his praise for the youngster.
“Oh, the Garangski! Garangski, honestly, he is the wonderkid I’m telling you! I say that I’m gonna be his agent from now on. He’s got the world at his feet, he’s 17 year old, when I was 17 I was a landscape gardener, I was cutting grass for a living. This guy’s playing, ripping up Barcelona, and every time I see him in training and he comes on he’s just a brilliant, top player and a great lad as well.
“Very excited about his future.”
The 26-year-old is contracted until the end of the 2022-23 season, and it appears that he and his partner have already settled in very well to the lifestyle on the Central Coast.
“I love it man, I love it, it’s the best to be fair. Coming over from Scotland where the miserable weather and landing here in Australia is beautiful, the beaches and the lifestyle, it’s all good.
“And playing in the A-League as well, it’s a good league and I’m playing every week and enjoying my football, it’s probably the most I’ve proper enjoyed my footy, so I’ve loved it, it’s been a good move.”