A busy off-season for Gary Wilkins medallist Thomas Broich has not deterred his zest for football with the midfielder excited to be back amongst the action with his Brisbane Roar teammates.
Four weeks in Germany, including cross-country visits to Berlin, Cologne and Munich to see family and friends, the launch of the documentary based on his life and a well-deserved break in the US filled Broich’s off-season calendar before he made a belated return to Brisbane’s pre-season training last week.
Even with his packed schedule, Broich named the premiere of his Tom Meets Zizou at the 8th International Football Film Festival at the end of March as the biggest highlight of his downtime.
After more than nine years being followed by a German documentary crew, resulting in over 100 hours of footage that was eventually whittled down to 120 minutes, Broich said he couldn’t be happier with the final product despite nerves prior to the showing.
“It was a success, there were 600 people at the premiere and the reviews were pretty positive,” he said.
“People seem to like me even after watching the film which is a good sign!
“The pressure was huge for me - it was my whole career, a big part of my life, and to see that all on screen, I was pretty nervous.
“All the stuff I said when I was young, it was a bit embarrassing as well!
“But you know, I was young, I made a few mistakes but I know I’m more mature now so it’s fine to look back on.”
Originally earmarked as one of the German youth players destined for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the film crew began shooting Broich back in 2002 alongside the likes of fellow young guns Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
What emerged from the initial shoots was quite unexpected and the documentary team took a different turn, deciding to use the unique character of Broich as the main focus for their project.
The crew followed Broich throughout his time in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Koln and FC Nuremberg with his overwhelming success in his first season in the Hyundai A-League with Brisbane Roar a key focal point in the final documentary.
“The structure of the movie, it shows my whole career but it keeps coming back to Australia,” he said.
“The film starts in Australia, then we go back to 2004, then we come back to Australia and back again and so forth.
“Australia is a big part of the movie, especially the happy ending with the grand final.”
Broich has been back with his Brisbane Roar teammates for just one week of pre-season training but has wasted no time at all, slotting back into the program with ease and no complaints.
“It’s so good to be champions and to be able to have a long pre-season,” he said.
“Everyone is happy, everyone is in a good mood, so it’s perfect.
“I was told a few weeks ago it was raining all the time but since I’ve been back, the weather has been great so I’m really enjoying being back in Brisbane.”