Ex-Central Coast Mariners midfielder Mustafa Amini said his move to Borussia Dortmund has been the most demanding and daunting time of his career as he bids to make it in Europe.
Speaking after less than two weeks at back-to-back German Bundesliga champion, where he has trained with the club’s first and second teams, Amini said: “The sheer pace of the training sessions, the load placed upon you and the sheer quality is very different to what it was in Australia.
"It’s a massive step up with the second team and another level again with the senior squad.
“You get to training at 9am and you leave at 6pm. You just train all day. You live and breathe football, which is good and what you want.
“I am at the best club in Germany and you have to expect that of course because the standards and expectations are so high. You have to move quicker, think quicker than ever before. Hopefully I can adapt to it okay.”
Amini joined the first team in Austria for a five-day camp in early July, where he met up with the club's other Australian player, understudy keeper Mitch Langerak, for the first time.
Having scored last week for Borussia Dortmund II in its 4-0 victory over Polish club OKS 1945 Olsztyn, Amini has barely caught his breath since arriving in Europe.
A searching inquisition began with a team bonding ‘survival of the fittest’ style odyssey to Sweden, where players lived out of tents, spent up to six hours a day in canoes, cooked their own provisions, drank lake water and slept in the wilderness.
“It was real survival test stuff,” he explained. “You just wanted to get home at the end of it. It was cold, wet and tough. We canoed from island to island, we had to read maps and go to the toilet in the wilds.
“It was a long five days. There was no brushing your teeth, no showers. It was pretty crazy but at the end of it everybody got to know each other. It was a good team building exercise.”
Amini was signed from Mariners by Dortmund in 2011 before being loaned back to the A-League club, where he played a starring role in its run to the 2011/2012 Premiership.
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