He left Australia with a fire in his belly and an eye on the Socceroos. After an overseas journey that took him across Europe, Scandinavia and Asia, Dylan McGowan tells FTBL what he learned in the dog fights overseas and how he's not looking back in red and black.
Dylan McGowan finished as Adelaide United's top scorer in the 2016/17 season – a rare feat for a towering centre-back which spoke volumes for the troubles the Reds had that season.
Adelaide finished second last in the league, were knocked out of the group stage of the Asian Champions League and the round of 32 in the FFA Cup.
At 25 years of age, McGowan knew it was time to test himself once more.
Portuguese club Paços de Ferreira signed McGowan in 2017 and for the Aussie, it was his first taste of European football since he returned from Scotland in 2014.
"Portugal was definitely my hardest period," McGowan told FTBL. "I signed coming straight from the national team at the Confederations Cup."
"After the first week in Portugal I knew I was there as a project player, to have me around for a couple of seasons and then sell me into Asia.
"I wanted to go and play regularly and they didn't want me to go on loan to Korea because they wanted to keep working on me."
McGowan would never make an appearance for Paços but his prayers were finally answered with a move to Gangwon in the K-League.
That season he joined a growing number of Aussie defenders playing in Korea including Aleksandar Jovanovic, Connor Chapman, Tomi Mrcela and his new centre-back partner at the Wanderers, Matt Jurman.
That season Gangwon finished eighth, with McGowan making 17 appearances, but there was one last stop on his odyssey, Denmark.