Mabil feels love after taking out award

Buoyed by receiving the Young Australian of the Year award, Socceroos winger Awer Mabil hopes he can bring greater awareness to the plight of refugees as he looks to rediscover his love for football at new club Sparta Prague.

Mabil arrived in the Czech capital earlier this month, reuniting with his former coach Brian Priske after struggling for gametime with Spanish outfit Cadiz.

The 27-year-old was recognised in the Australian of the Year honours for the work of his foundation - Barefoot to Boots - which provides sports footwear and medical equipment for the South Sudanese refugee camp in Kenya where he was born.

The 31-cap international was unable to attend Wednesday's ceremony due to his commitments with his club side.

His mother Agot accepted the award in his absence, with Mabil saying she was "shaking" when she heard he had won.

He took extra comfort in Priske acknowledging his work in a meeting with his new Sparta teammates.

"I feel the love already," Mabil said with his trademark enthusiasm.

"He (Priske) said there's something bigger than football and he mentioned my foundation. He was my assistant coach in Denmark when I started it.

"It's good to be in a new environment now because over the last two years I didn't really enjoy football as much.

"I am back now and I'm hoping that things will go to plan."

Receiving the award carried extra significance for Mabil, coming four years to the day since his sister, Bor, was killed in a car crash.

"I think she'd say, 'Hey little bro, you've done alright'," he said.

"It's a mixed day (for the family) but her energy is always with us and I'll continue to carry her name."

Mabil, whose family moved to Adelaide when he was 10, has continued to return to his birthplace where he hopes to build an artificial football pitch.

He said the most touching moment of his charitable work had come when his foundation donated two incubators to the local hospital.

"That for me is the biggest achievement because you're giving life, I don't know how many lives have been saved," he said.

"I'm representing kids in the refugee camp that don't get a chance.

"The title of 'refugee' is just a name because, as I've said before, as long as we're born into this world, it's all our home.

"It (the refugee camp) taught me the value of sticking together and working hard.

"If we can all just help each other one by one, this world will be a better place for all of us."