Genclerbirligi midfielder Mile Jedinak says his experience with Croatian club NK Varteks back in 2004 helped prepare him for his career.
The 25-year old Sydney-born Jedinak is currently on loan with Gencler’s Turkish Super Lig rivals Antalyaspor and is making quite an impact with the club.
In an interview with goal.com, Jedinak said it was his time in Croatia that opened up his eyes on what to expect from European football and has assisted in moulding him into a player who could be selected for Pim Verbeek’s World Cup squad.
“It certainly opened my eyes up to see how cut-throat it can be. It made me more determined to try and do well and make something of myself in my football career,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do that to a certain extent but I’m still not happy with where I am.
“When I was in the actual club environment (at Varteks), being part of the team you get to see how certain things done, some things good and something things not so good,” Jedinak added.
“A lot was out of my control and I was like ‘What do I have to do?’ and it became a bit difficult.
“That’s where my teammates helped me immensely and if we didn’t have each other, we would have gone crazy. We went through a lot of stuff together there.
“I had a good bunch of teammates who made my life a lot easier in Croatia when I was living with my own, guys I’m still in contact with today.
“I can’t forget my time there because it made me stronger as a person and as a player and I look back on it as a positive.”