Tobias Bertsch is hoping he can follow Thomas Broich's footsteps from Germany into an A-League star.
Of course there are a few minor differences - Broich played for the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach before signing with Brisbane Roar - while Bertsch is on the books of Lower Hutt City and Team Wellington.
But the 20-year-old midfielder does have talent and is already on the radar of the Wellington Phoenix, where he trains with the club's academy.
Bertsch, who will play in the national league against Waikato FC in Hamilton tomorrow, arrived in Wellington last year to play and coach at Lower Hutt.
Born in Bayreuth, Bertsch was playing in Germany's seventh division before leaving for New Zealand but sees parallels between himself and Broich.
"Because he lives football but he still has a life, so he's able to combine both.
"I think I'm like the kind of person he is and I was really disappointed when I wasn't able to talk to him when he was here with Brisbane," Bertsch said.
"He's a person that I can identify with and that's what makes him interesting to me. In Germany it's the biggest sport so you don't get seen like here. You're more like a fish in the ocean, whereas here you're a fish in the tank.
"I used to be really good when I was younger but I didn't take my opportunities well. But then I came over and I was a top player here, so I got my hopes back and now I really want to do it as a pro. I think I can do it."
Bertsch and Wellington are yet to set the league alight, losing their opening two games to Waitakere and Canterbury. Waikato represents a good opportunity to kickstart their season.
"The two games I've had weren't the best, I didn't play good enough but I'm trying to do better for the next couple of games, of course," Bertsch said.
"I know what I am capable of and every time I don't play like I should play, I'm disappointed and down. My standards are really, really high, like even if I just give the ball away once, that's enough to be like oh f..., oh sorry, don't tape that."
Bertsch is living in Lower Hutt with team-mate Hamish Watson, who will probably spearhead Wellington's attack again tomorrow.
Solomon Islands international Henry Fa'arodo arrived yesterday after a visa delay.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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