Meet the 17-year-old Mariners prodigy who could be the next Garang Kuol


Miguel Di Pizio is a rising star amongst the Central Coast Mariners ranks.

The Sydney-born midfielder made his starting debut against Western United in front of a home crowd at Central Coast Stadium, having impressed Mark Jackson and previous manager Nick Montgomery in the Mariners youth stocks.

For someone at 17 years of age, it’s been an impressive year for the youngster who made three substitute appearances for the Mariners, including two in the AFC Cup where he scored his first-ever professional goal to equalise late against Terengganu FC.

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The Mariners remain in pole position to claim a place in the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals after coming from behind to claim a draw!

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— #AFCCup (@AFCCup) November 29, 2023

Di Pizio grew up in Sydney where he started playing football at the tender age of four in the backyard of his home with his father. Like all kids who grew up with football, he dreamt of representing the national team of his home country.

It almost seems his passion for football doesn’t know where to stop, Di Pizio attended and played for the school football team for both Mamre Anglican School and Westfields Sports High School alongside his brother Gianni Di Pizio, who is now playing in the youth ranks with Central Coast Mariners.

Both brothers have also risen through the Western Sydney Wanderers Youth academy, where they claimed the U20s Championship in the National Premier Leagues.

In 2023, Di Pizio has made six senior appearances in total, and scored in the AFC Cup group match where an emotional Di Pizio helped his side to a 1–1 draw to stay top of the group. He made his starting debut on December 8, playing 56 minutes during a 4–0 demolition of Western United in Round 7 of the A-League Men’s competition.

It’s been a humble and fairy tale story for Di Pizio as he achieved his dream of representing his nation, having so far made ten appearances for the Joeys through numerous tournaments with Australia’s best talents such as Nestory Irankunda and former Mariners teammate Anthony Pavlesic.

A spectacular night at Our Paradise! ????#CCMFC #CCMvWUN #BeOurMate

— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) December 8, 2023

His calm nature and natural skill can derive from his idol in Roma star Paulo Dybala, from whom he took inspiration for his flashy dribbling and creativity.

“I watched a lot of [Paulo] Dybala in Serie A. Watched a lot of his football, so grew up modelling my game around him,” Di Pizio remarked to KEEPUP.

“My dream is to obviously play European football and play for the Socceroos.”

As of 2023, Di Pizio is on a scholarship contract with the Mariners and is under Mark Jackson’s books for a potential breakthrough into the starting line-up.

As evident through the former Mariners’ players, Alou and Garang Kuol, Kye Rowles, and Nectarios Triantis, it is safe to say that Di Pizio’s future is in safe hands.

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For now, the dream road to Europe will be a long journey but through talent and hard work with humility, Di Pizio can rise. He is certainly one to watch for the future.

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