Coming into my third week of trialling I knew that I had been training hard. I was beginning to gain confidence and believe that I had become a better player over the course of the past couple weeks. I knew I had adapted to the English style of football. For years I had been watching English Premier League and Championship matches wanting to be a part of European football.
Coming into the last week of pre-season before the U23’s competition started, the training levels had been increased to two sessions on the field four days of the week. This in itself was a physical challenge but I found it to be mentally draining and had to continually focus on staying focused and being prepared for what had to come next.
As I wrote about in my last blog ‘ Sign Pro At Millwall Football Club, Part. 2’, the morning sessions had a lot of high tempo running followed with small sided games. This continued throughout the course of the final week but repeating the same thing in the afternoons as well. My body had never felt so much fatigue over the course of a week from such a high load of training. Having Wednesday off throughout each week helped my body overcome some of the workload. It helped me recharge for the back end of the week.
On Thursday morning I arrived at the training ground doing the same routine as always. The coach had mentioned again that in the afternoon we would be having another session. By this stage I had begun to get used to the sessions in the afternoon. With the morning session being a high intensity, a lot of the players had thought it may just be a technical session recovering. Walking out to train we had some first team and U18 players joining us. Little did we know once we had finished warming up we would be playing a full 90-minute game. My mind was so excited to play but at the same time my body was feeling the true extent of the morning session. I knew this was going to be my final big chance to show that I had what it took, and that’s exactly what I did.
It was a mental battle being able to push through 90 minutes but I had no intentions of slowing down. 90 minutes in the tank and a hattrick walking off the field it was a great way to give the last impression before a decision was made. It was a bit of a proud moment walking away from training that day and I will remember scoring those three goals for years to come.
Waking up the next morning heading into training I got a phone call from my agent congratulating me saying the club want to offer me a six-month deal. The excitement and relief I felt arriving was incredible. For the past month I had been working towards signing a professional contract in Europe. The one thing that I need to do now was to get a European passport…
The next couple of weeks I spent flying to and from Poland, filling out paperwork trying to get my Polish passport. Having a European passport meant that I wouldn’t be having to worry about visa positions and be able to start playing as soon as I had it. By this stage I had already missed the first four weeks of the season. Flying to and from Poland filling out paperwork for a month was frustrating because that only meant I would be training every week without any games.
As soon as I had the paperwork sorted and on the third trip of going to Poland I was able to pick up my passport and head back to south-east London for my time ahead at Millwall Football Club.
After the paperwork and travel had finished, it was time for me to settle into my new living arrangements about half an hour away from the training grounds in a suburb called Farnborough, Kent.
The feeling of waking up and being on your way to training knowing that it is the only thing that I had to focus on from this point on was a major relief. Leading up to this point in time I was doing everything in my power to get a professional contract in England and that hard work had paid off. That didn’t mean I was done there. I had my next six months to work towards my next contract.