Former Yagoona Lions junior Jamie Gorgovski has become the latest Aussie to join German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund. Despite interest from elsewhere there really was no other choice for the New South Wales teenager as soon as the Yellow and Blacks came knocking.
“I imagined myself training and wearing those famous club colours,” Jamie exclusively told Football Central.
“BVB felt right for me.”
He was helped in his decision after discussions with “respected people in football” in Australia who helped go over the move with the Gorgovski family.
“Alex Tobin helped with the FIFA stuff. Also Simon Colosimo from the PFA was great regarding advice about clubs and contracts. They went over my contract and provided great advice.”
Jamie credits a lot of people for helping him get to where he is, such as his former clubs and coaches but no one more than his family, especially his father Tony.
“My dad was my biggest influence,” the teenager revealed.
“He and my uncles were my first coaches. Dad would always do extra sessions with me and my brother Phillip even when I was part of the Project 22 and Skilleroos setup in Australia. He has been a massive influence and inspiration for me. He has always supported me through the good and bad times.
“I played for Yagoona Lions from the age of 5. At 7, I joined the NSW Coerver program and Project 22 with Jane Talcevski as coach. Then I made Milan Blagojevic’s Skilleroo squad in the Under 12s followed by the NSWIS program. Some of their messages are really sinking in now.”
The Newington College student was nervous leading up to his trial with Dortmund but a good performance on his first day helped ease his nerves. The young playmaker did so well that former BVB player and now the club’s Youth Coordinator Lars Ricken signed off on a three year deal for a player nicknamed “Hurricane”.
“My first night I did really well and that made the remainder easier because I quickly earned the respect of the players,” said Gorgovski.
“We played an eight v eight game and I scored the most goals. On the last night they arranged a trial game and
Lars Ricken came to watch. He had the final say on whether I would be offered a contract. I did very well and things progressed from there.
“I quickly learnt it’s a higher tempo game at BVB, with technically gifted opponents. Constant movement, high pressing and quick decision making is critical in order to make it at BVB.
“The competition is fierce, some of our training games are insanely intense, we train six days a week. These guys don’t like to lose at anything and I am naturally competitive so it fits like a glove.”
The number ten speaks a lot of technique and said he likes to be a “technical leader” when out on the pitch. He lists Zinedine Zidane as his hero as well as past and present A-League players such as Thomas Broich, Shinji Ono and his now club mate, Mustafa Amini.
“I like to show a bit of boldness by hitting penetrating passes. It’s important to take risks to look to create something different. I look to exploit space, gain the advantage and make the opposition pay.
“I try to watch other players, Reus, Kagawa, Amini and learn from them. Jane Talcevski made me a DVD of Zidane which I still watch. Dad would always talk about technically gifted players like Paul Okon and Oscar Crino. My dad has always said ‘educate your mind and your touch will follow.’”
His father Tony couldn’t be prouder of his son and has been impressed by the welcome he and the family have gotten from the Westphalia club. He knows it will be a challenge for the younger Gorgovski but is confident that Jamie can meet it.
“It’s a learning curve but also the beginning of, hopefully, an exciting journey.
“He has worked extremely hard doing extra sessions on his own and he deserves this opportunity to show case his talent.
“I’m really pleased he has been recognized by one the biggest clubs in the world. Australians don’t really know the true size of this club until you live here, the entire city stops when BVB plays,” said Tony.
“The facilities and coaches are great and the club has been really supportive arranging school, German lessons etcetera but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Champions League team. They have made us all feel very welcome.
“The two children will be attending school and are really looking forward to it, along with my wife Sonya. We believe this experience will benefit the entire family educational wise.”
When asked about whether or not young players should make the move abroad so early, Tony was complimentary of the coaching in Australia while admitting that certain realities made its better for Jamie to join the German club.
“There are some truly great educational coaches in Australia like Milan, Jane, and Ian Crook, and if you could work with them one hundred percent of the time that would be beneficial but that can’t happen.
“Travelling time to training in Australia is a killer and we don’t train as often as here in Germany.
“The setup here at BVB is first class. Everything from facilities to player and parental care are world class. We have been here for just over two months and I have seen improvements in his game and mental approach to football.”
Jamie also noted how he has matured as a player and learnt to be more adaptable. He cites the full-time approach as a key in his improvement.
“My football approach has been based on my technique workings. I think that has helped me adapt to the higher speed of play and thought.
“What training here has already highlighted for me is to be open minded. I try and talk to everyone; all the coaches, players and teammates. We all feed off each other and aim to work hard. It’s now clear to me that training at a high level for a long period of time is the key to success.”
Having secured his move to Dortmund his goals for both club and country are clear. Owing to his Macedonian heritage, he is now in the sights of their FA but the young Aussie, if given the chance, would love to wear the Green & Gold.
“Short term I want to do well at BVB and make a big impression in the Under 17 Bundesliga and get to the first team. It would be amazing to play in the Westfalenstadion, just to experience that atmosphere.
“I would love to represent my country and become a Socceroo and hopefully get a call up for the Joeys campaign soon.
“I want the opportunity to work hard and prove myself in any arena that I play in.”