Thomas Deng

Thomas Deng (born 20 March 1997) is an Australian professional footballer who plays as a central defender for J1 League club Urawa Red Diamonds.

Thomas Deng
Personal information
Full name Thomas Jok Deng[1]
Date of birth (1997-03-20) 20 March 1997 (age 24)
Place of birth Nairobi, Kenya
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2][3]
Position(s) Centre-back, right-back[4][5]
Club information
Current team
Urawa Red Diamonds
Number 20
Youth career
Adelaide Blue Eagles
Playford City
2011–2013 Western Eagles
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013 Western Eagles 15 (2)
2014 Green Gully 13 (0)
2015–2016 Melbourne Victory NPL 10 (0)
2015–2020 Melbourne Victory 71 (2)
2016–2017Jong PSV (loan) 5 (0)
2020– Urawa Red Diamonds 19 (1)
National team
2015–2016 Australia U-20 10 (0)
2016– Australia U-23 11 (1)
2018– Australia 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 August 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 January 2020

Personal lifeEdit

Deng was born into a family of South Sudanese refugees in Nairobi, Kenya. He, along with his family, were fleeing from the conflict in South Sudan and eventually resettled in Adelaide, Australia.[6]

Deng has four older siblings, as well as a half-brother who lives in Uganda.[7] His older brother, Peter Deng, has represented South Sudan at senior level.[8]

Club careerEdit

Deng made his senior football debut as a 16 year old in 2013 at Western Eagles F.C. under then-manager Budala Barešić-Nikić in the Victorian State League Division 3.[9][10] The following season, the youngster moved to nearby Green Gully SC, where manager Bob Stojcevski recruited Deng to play for the club's u20 side. He was eventually promoted to the senior team and made 13 first team appearances in the NPL Victoria in 2014.[6]

Following his impressive performances at Gully, Melbourne Victory National Youth League coach Darren Davies rewarded Deng with a youth contract. Deng debuted for the senior team for Melbourne Victory against Balmain Tigers in the 2015 FFA Cup. He made his A-League debut on 9 October 2015 against Adelaide United, as a substitute replacing Fahid Ben Khalfallah after a red card was shown to Leigh Broxham. Thomas made his starting debut in the A-League for Melbourne Victory on 17 October 2015 in round 2 against town rivals, Melbourne City, where he was selected as Man of the Match by supporters and social media.

In June 2016, Deng moved to Jong PSV on a one-year loan deal.[11][12] After making 5 appearances, he returned to Melbourne Victory at the end of the season.[13]

In January 2020, Deng left Melbourne Victory to join Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds following his performance at the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.[14]

International careerEdit

He was part of the main squad of the Olyroos at the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship and put on an extremely impressive display throughout the tournament, garnering high praise from respected Australian pundits: Geoff Fullgrabe, Alan Vucenik, and Craig Foster.

Due to being born in Kenya and having South Sudanese heritage, he is eligible to play for Australia, Kenya and South Sudan.

In October 2018, Deng was named in the Socceroos squad for their training camp in the UAE and their friendly against Kuwait. In the friendly he made his debut, together with fellow South Sudanese refugee and boyhood friend Awer Mabil.[15]


Melbourne Victory


  1. ^ "Thomas Deng". Soccerway. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Thomas Deng". Soccerway. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Thomas Deng". Melbourne Victory FC. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Meet the youth team players named in MVFC's A-League squad". Melbourne Victory FC. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  5. ^ Windon, Jacob. "NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee – Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory)". Melbourne Victory FC. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b Kulas, Damir. "The rise and rise of Thomas Deng". The Corner Flag. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  7. ^ Davutovic, David. "Victory star Thomas Deng revisits fork in the road on visit to youth justice centre". Herald Sun. News Corp. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Peter Deng's journey to South Sudanese debut – The Corner Flag". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ John Punshon ""
  11. ^ "PSV huurt Australische verdediger Deng (19)" (in Dutch). PSV Eindhoven. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Thomas Deng joins PSV Eindhoven on loan". Melbourne Victory. 28 June 2016.
  13. ^ Tito, Clement (15 May 2017). "Deng could strengthen Victory's defence..." FourFourTwo.
  14. ^ Lynch, Michael (28 January 2020). "Deng quits Victory to join J-League giants Urawa". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  15. ^ "'A dream come true': refugees Deng and Mabil make Socceroos debuts together". The Guardian. 16 October 2018.

External linksEdit