Ex-Western Sydney and Melbourne Heart forward Golgol Mebrahtu says he wanted to get out of his comfort zone by signing with Czech club Mlada Boleslav.
Mebrahtu, 25, joined Mlada on a two-year contract early last month after being released by Wanderers in May.
The ex-Australia Under-23 international was recommended to Mlada by a former team-mate and flown over to the Czech Republic to spend time at the club before reaching an agreement on a deal within days.
Mebrahtu was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 league loss to Karvina, but has already made four appearances for Mlada.
“It would probably have been easier to stay in Australia in my comfort zone,” Mebrahtu told FourFourTwo.
“Coming out here is definitely very challenging. I’m ready to step up and give it a real go.
“It’s a challenge but I’m really excited about it.”
Mebrahtu, who was born in Sudan to Eritrean parents, said he was determined to try his luck in Europe.
The 25-year-old had come to a crossroads in his career following his release by Wanderers, although he rejected the notion his move was make or break.
“It was about ‘what do I want?’,” he said.
“Playing in Europe has always been a dream of mine, since I started playing football.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to go at this moment. I’m 25 years old.
“If that didn’t work, obviously playing in Australia or Asia and pursuing other opportunities was the path I was going to take.
“After speaking with my agents and a few close friends we thought we’d wait for the right moment and be patient and see what comes up in Europe.
“This was a great opportunity. Thankfully it all worked out in Europe.”
Mlada, who were 2003-04 Czech champions and a former club of fellow Australian Kerem Bulut, are aiming for the top two in the league this season.
Mebrahtu said that ambition excited him and hoped to continue to adjust to his new surrounds with a view to playing Champions League football.
“Football here is completely different to Australia, how they train, how they play the game, it’s a lot more technical,” he said.
“Adjusting to the new language, culture and team-mates is always going to be challenging and it has been challenging.
“I’ve been involved with the team since the start and I hope to keep adjusting, in time to start getting more game-time and help the team achieve its goals.
“We’re trying to push for a top two spot which gives you the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
“That’s definitely something we’re aiming for. It’s not going to be easy.”