Kerem Bulut (born 3 February 1992) is an Australian professional football player who currently plays for SV Wehen Wiesbaden. Bulut represented the Australia under-20 national team at the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship, where he scored seven goals in six games to win the Golden Boot as Australia finished second at the tournament, he also played at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia, where Australia were eliminated at the group stages.
Born in Sydney, New South Wales to parents of Turkish descent, Bulut was signed to the youth team of Sydney FC from NSWIS in 2008 for the 2008-09 A-League National Youth League scoring his first goal in a 2–1 win against Adelaide United on 11 October 2008. Bulut would only score three goals in the season before spending 2009 with the AIS. Bulut returned to Sydney for the 2009–10 A-League National Youth League season. He was immediately picked up as one of the brightest and most talented players in Australia, and it was rumored early on that he would either be signed by Sydney FC to the first-team, but was also linked with clubs in Spain and Turkey. He scored 13 goals in 27 appearances for the Youth Team, but Sydney failed to reach the finals. He immediately went on trial with several clubs in Europe, including FK Mladá Boleslav after recommendations from Sydney FC senior manager Vítězslav Lavička.
After being on trial for several weeks with Mladá Boleslav, it was confirmed by the Czech club that they had signed Bulut. Bulut had signed a contract with the club until 30 June 2012. Signed to the club's first-team, he became one of four teen-aged players and one of five foreigners in the 25 man squad. Immediately thrown into the squad's first 11, he debuted on 18 July 2010 by starting in a 2–0 victory against Ústí nad Labem. On 24 July 2010 he again started in a 1–1 draw against České Budějovice. Two league rounds later he scored his first goal in Gambrinus liga in a home match against Příbram. Due to his criminal charge he was absent from the club from October 2010 to April 2011 where his first game back was in a 3–1 loss to Viktoria Plzeň on 8 May. Bulut was part of the Mladá Boleslav squad which won the 2010–11 Czech Cup, beating Sigma Olomouc in the final having won 4–3 on penalties after a 1–1 draw.
On his 2011–12 season debut on 14 August, he scored Mladá Boleslav's second goal in a 4–1 away win to Baník Ostrava. On 6 January 2012, it was reported that Mladá Boleslav agreed to release Bulut from his contract to allow him to move to Turkish Süper Lig club Eskişehirspor, who had offered him a six-month deal with the option to buy him at the end of the loan period after the 2011–12 season. Bulut also received interest from a number of German Bundesliga clubs. It was reported that Bulut had been frustrated that no one at Mladá Boleslav spoke fluent English and sources close to him reported that he felt his concerns were lost in translation with club officials. On 31 January 2012, it was announced that Bulut had officially transferred to Eskişehirspor. However, Bulut then returned to Mladá Boleslav during the 2011–12 season and was re-registered to the club with the number #16 shirt. He re-debuted in a 2-0 home victory against Sparta Praha on 22 April, where he was substituted onto the field in the 90th minute for Jan Chramosta.
2012 saw Bulut have stints with Mladá Boleslav's first-team and under-21 team. He was registered with number #33 for the 2012–13 Gambrinus liga season and made his first appearance in a 1–0 home victory against Hradec Králové on 23 September 2012. Bulut had been substituted onto the field for Martin Nespor in the 68th minute. Three days later, his first appearance in the 2012–13 Czech Cup came in a 1–1 away against Zenit Čáslav draw on 26 September 2012. Bulut played a full-90 minutes of the match as Mladá Boleslav eventually won 4–3 via a penalty shoot-out. Bulut ultimately went on to make three more league appearances. On 6 November 2012, Bulut scored in the 66th minute of Mladá Boleslva's second-leg Czech Cup 1–1 away draw against Třinec. Mladá Boleslav won the tie 4-1 on aggregate and advanced to the next round.
Having been on trial with Akhisar Belediyespor in Antalya, it was confirmed on in January 2013 that Bulut was officially transferred from Mladá Boleslav to Akhisar Belediyespor for the remainder of the 2012–13 Süper Lig season when he signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the club. He was presented with the number #99 shirt. He debuted in a 1–1 home draw against Eskişehirspor on 21 January 2013, when he was substituted onto the field for Ahmet Cebe in the 77th minute.
Western Sydney Wanderers
On 13 January 2015, Bulut signed with Western Sydney Wanderers. Bulut scored his first two goals on his debut in a 4-3 loss to Sydney FC on 28 January. On 25 March he scored another brace this time against Brisbane Roar and the following week scored a goal against Perth Glory. Bulut finished the season with 5 goals in 9 appearances also scoring 1 goal in the 2014 AFC Champions League. Bulut decided not to renew his contract with Western Sydney Wanderers, instead choosing a move to Europe.
On 29 June 2015 Bulut signed a three-year contract with Greek Superleague club Iraklis. Kerem Bulut made his Greek Super League debut for Iraklis FC on 30 August 2015 as a 65th-minute substitute for Lefteris Intzoglou in the 0-1 home loss to Panionios. On 14 September 2015, Kerem Bulut made his first starting appearance in the Greek Super League for Iraklis at home to Levadiakos. On 5 December 2015, he scored his first goal with the club, helping Iraklis to beat Asteras Tripoli 2-1, and retain its unbeated record against Asteras.
Bulut terminated his contract with Iraklis in July 2016, after not being paid for 5 months.
Return to Western Sydney Wanderers
On 24 August 2016, Bulut signed once more with Western Sydney Wanderers, after trialling with the club.
On 28 December 2016, Bulut was released from his contract by the Wanderers.
SV Wehen Wiesbade
On 28 January 2017, Bulut officially signed for 3rd Tier German side SV Wehen Wiesbaden. On 28 January 2017 had his debut against VfR Aalen after being subbed on in the second half.
In July 2008 Bulut was selected to represent the Australia U-17 team at the 2008 AFF U-16 Youth Championship in Indonesia. In Australia's second group stage match on 11 July Bulut scored in a 6–0 win against Indonesia. On 13 July he scored a brace in the second half of a 4–1 win against Malaysia. On 15 July in Australia's final group stage fixture Bulut scored on 42 minutes as Australia drew 1–1 against Singapore. Australia went on to win the tournament, beating Bahrain 5–4 on penalties after drawing 1–1 after extra time. Having scored four goals in the tournament, Bulut converted one of Australia's five penalties in the final's shoot-out. Bulut was then selected for Australia's U-17 squad for a tour in Turkey which saw him score for Australia in a 2–1 loss against the Turkey U-17 national team.
Bulut was selected to play in the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship held in China. He scored Australia's second goal in its first group stage 4–1 win over Yemen. Bulut would again deliver for the Young Socceroos after 60 minutes in their second group stage fixture as Australia would beat Iran at 3–0 and secured a spot in the knock-out stages. Australia were drawn with the UAE at the quarter-final stage when Bulut opened the scoring after just 6 minutes. The game was locked at 2–2 before Australia would eventually win after scoring 2 goals in extra-time. Bulut scored a brace in the semi-final against Saudi Arabia as Australia went on to win 2–0. Korea DPR would beat Australia 3–2 in the final, which saw Australia take the lead at 2–1 having been down 1–0, when Bulut scored both goals in the space of six minutes, as Australia went on to qualify for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Bulut was awarded the Golden Boot of the tournament having scored 7 goals After his performance at the tournament, the media had publicised Bulut as a talent that Sydney had lost due to snubbing him during selection.
2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup
On 13 July Bulut was selected in Australia's 21-man squad for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia. Drawn into Group C Bulut played in Australia's opening group stage fixture which resulted in a 1–1 draw against Ecuador on 31 July. Bulut then played another 90 minutes in a 3–2 loss to Costa Rica on 3 August, where his flick-on header was touched by Thomas Oar to score Australia's first goal. In Australia's last group stage match against Spain on 6 August, Bulut received the ball from a goal kick from Mark Birighitti before getting past a Spanish opponent and scoring past goal keeper Fernando Pacheco Flores to make the score line 4–1. The match finished 5–1 as Australia were eliminated from the tournament having finished in fourth position of their respective group with only one point.
On 27 January 2012 he was selected to play for the Australia Olympic football team against Uzbekistan national under-23 football team and United Arab Emirates national under-23 football team. Kerem Bulut made his debut for the Australia Olympic football team in a friendly under 23's international against the Philippines at the Al Nasr Stadium in Dubai, UAE on 16 February 2012.
Style of Play
A former prodigious striker with a fiery temperament and a reputation for embroiling himself in controversy, Kerem Bulut could've been one of Australia’s most exciting young footballers but his mental strength was lacking. Easily influenced by friends who live a wannabe 'thug life' lifestyle, he would never be able to break free from mediocrity. On the field, Bulut’s direct style of running is his most potent weapon: he is unafraid to drive at the penalty area, usually playing off the last man and possessing the crucial ability to anticipate the ball.
Club in Europe
Statistics accurate as of 7 February 2016
On 17 November 2010, Bulut was arrested, and on 18 November faced Burwood Court charged with a range of alleged offences including malicious wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; robbery in company; participate in criminal group; assist criminal activity, affray and intimidation. He was charged alongside three other men and a juvenile. He was granted conditional bail and was to face court again on 24 January 2011. On 7 April 2011 after a court hearing Bulut had his passport returned to him allowing him to return to his club Mladá Boleslav. It was hoped that playing as a professional footballer overseas will help him further distance himself from negative influences around him.
- Czech Cup: 2010–11
- AFC U-19 Championship
- Runners-up: 2010
- 2010 AFC U-19 Championship Golden Boot
- 7 Goals