Before Matthew Jurman became a national team player and A-League star, the powerful defender from Western Sydney Wanderers trialled across Europe.
“From there I went to Motherwell in Scotland for a month, and I thought I’d sign there and then the coach said to come back in pre-season."
In total it was a four-month trial journey from Germany to Scotland, England and Denmark.
The Wollongong-born enforcer has subsequently played for Australia's A-League powerhouses in Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC, and his current club Western Sydney Wanderers.
And in Korea's K-League for perennial powerhouse Suwon Bluewings.
He's one of the A-League's and AFC's more respected footballers.
Even more significant, the current Wanderers central defender was part of Australia’s World Cup 2018 squad in Russia after helping Australia qualify for a fourth World Cup in a row.
Clearly, toughing it out as a teenager on the other side of the world hasn't harmed the A-League talent.
“I think at a young age it made me mentally stronger. I’m glad I did it. Younger players get away with a lot these days.
"Older players were hard on us young boys, but I’m glad they were hard on us. It’s made me the person I am today," the Wanderers player adds.
The A-League is due to resume in mid-July with Wanderers having a slim chance only of making up the ground needed for a finals charge.
After former Liverpool and German international Markus Babbel was sacked as head coach by the A-League powerhouse mid-season, it’s been a tough campaign at "Wanderland" for Wanderers.
Jurman, 30, is off-contract at Wanderers at the end of this COVID-interrupted A-League season and is currently pondering his next contract.
It may be overseas. It may be in the A-League.
Interestingly, Sunderland has had another Socceroo defender this season.
Powerful Bailey Wright hasn’t played in the A-League, he left Australia early and has carved out a superb career at first Preston and Bristol City.
Wright impressed many Mackem fans during his loan spell at Sunderland from City this season.
And after Wright was released from the Robins, many Sunderland fans have taken to social media urging their club to sign the big Aussie.
Jurman and Wright together in the center of Sunderland’s backline?
That would be a duo the Sunderland fans could get used to.
And with a British passport, playing in the UK is very much still a dream for Jurman.
“It’d be a mad experience to play at a club like Sunderland,” adds the big A-League defender.
"You don't quite know where you'll be with the way the world is now, but that's also quite exciting."