The coronavirus pandemic is making it even more difficult to sign American players this year.
Above all, this has to do with the fact that the devastating picture of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States is spreading here in Germany. That’s how Jörg Fersen, the sporting director of DJK TuS Hordel describes it.
For years, he has been organizing several players from abroad for the club from Bochum for the Westphalian League team.
“We are always set up in such a way that we bring in two or three players from abroad. Then you have one from Ghana, Japanese and American,” says Virsen. “More than three players are useless for reasons of ability.”
The club organizes an apartment for each player through the contacts in the club, finds a job and helps with a variety of things. This includes dealing with the authorities, but also providing support in everyday life.
Close contacts guarantee the player’s commitments from the outside
“Over the years you learn certain things and gain experience,” says Virsen. “For players from Japan, the effort is not that great, with Americans it can be difficult with residence permits.”
About seven years ago, the club signed players from Japan, which came through close contact between Viersen and a Japanese friend in Dusseldorf. Every now and then he introduces players and talks about them in poetry. For players from the USA, the club works with someone from New York in the USA.
“We now have very good sources and relationships, and friendships have developed,” says Virsen.
The goals of the players who come to Bochum are relatively different. While Asian players want to live out their dream of having high-quality football, the situation is different with the Americans.
Americans are certainly more realistic. No high school player comes here and says he can become a pro. If they play football in Germany, it has value in universities,” explains Virsen.
Many players try to record their performance here in Germany in order to create featured clips and send them to scouts in colleges in the USA. The goal is sometimes expensive university scholarships, which can cost up to 100,000 euros.
However, the main thing here is to integrate the players. In the team, in the life of the club. Only then can the commit be properly executed.
In most cases, Virsen says, it works this way, and it rarely doesn’t. “We were wrong every now and then. The problem starts when the guys train and they don’t understand the exercise,” says Versen.
The language barrier can be an obstacle if the new signs do not speak or understand English.
“As a club, you have to be ready so you can always be there when the players have problems. And as soon as that is the case, they call,” he says. “You’re bringing them in from completely different cultures, and that’s of course a change.”
Ghanaian players for on-site demo training
Basically, however, Virsen is convinced. Because of the connections, the athletic performance, which must always be appropriate, and the opportunity to communicate between different cultures.
The club currently has a striker from Ghana for trial training on site. It would not be surprising if the player stayed in Bochum. Structures for this are certainly present in the Westfalenligisten of Hordel.
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