Marc Janko: My adventureAustria captain and Sydney FC striker Marc Janko blogs exclusively for redbulletin.com. Part one - life in Australia and Euro 2016.
As of now I will officially be writing a blog on redbulletin.com to tell you about my life down under! I have been here since the end of July and I can safely say that I don’t regret the decision one bit. Sydney is such a wonderful place and one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. The people are really cool, helpful and welcome you with open arms. It is a great place to live and there is always something to do. The weather is also perfect, which is one of the reasons why so much happens outdoors. I am enjoying every day.
Although Australia was always on my to-do list, I am here first and foremost for my career, and my passion, football. My main target is to re-find my form and fitness, as I haven’t been playing regular football recently. A lot has happened over the last few months, and I wasn’t getting the playing opportunities I needed. The main focus now is therefore to play regularly and score goals. The staff here have been fantastic and are helping me regain my form step by step, I couldn’t ask for more.
Sydney is exactly what I needed after the difficult time in Turkey. The club worked extremely hard to get me here and made me feel wanted. The trainer told me that I would be able to find what I am looking for by coming to the club, and that is to enjoy playing football again (I have already scored my first goal as well: Video). He fully understands what it feels like to be in a place where you feel unwanted and are not happy, which is how I felt in Turkey. He was also a striker and knows exactly how it feels. He has a great way of dealing with players and motivating us.
I have of course read what the critics have said about my move. I know that a lot of people do not understand my decision. But I don’t think I need to answer to anyone. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but at the end of the day it is my life and my career. There are always going to be critics throughout your career regardless of what you do, but that comes with the job. There are not many people who are exempt from criticism in professional football. I have learned to deal with this over the years and try not to let it get to me.
The truth is that I just want to be part of a team again and enjoy playing football, and I think this is the ideal place for that. I didn’t have any definite offers from any other clubs when I made my choice, and it was more important for me to be playing and part of a team than sitting in the stands in Turkey. I also had to think about my family and what was best for them as well.
I have reached an age and a stage in my career where I do not think I need to prove anything to anyone. I have shown over the years what I am capable of, even when I wasn’t first choice in the teams. I am very proud of my achievements. I don’t think many of my critics can truly appreciate this as they have never been in my shoes.
Anyway, I am going to continue to concentrate on my game, on my new club and on the tasks which lie ahead of me. One of those is coming up in Vienna, the opening Euro 2016 qualification game against Sweden. It is a massive honour for me to be able to represent my country and that is why I will be making the long journey back. I will be giving everything to the cause to try and help us win this match and also qualify. I really think we have a genuine chance of progressing, and we need the fans to get behind us on this.
The pressure is always there and it is always immense. That is probably partly our own fault because we have such high expectations of ourselves. This pressure doesn’t have to be a negative thing though, we all know how to play under pressure and we thrive under it as well. It is a great time to be part of the national set-up because the players, the staff and everyone involved is so positive at the moment. We are all buzzing and looking forward to getting out there on the pitch. It hasn’t always been like this though, and there have been times when the atmosphere in the camp wasn’t so pleasant.
We know the match against Sweden is not going to be easy, but I don’t think you can call this match a decider. There is a long way to go in this qualification and we need to make sure we don’t drop any unnecessary points. We can’t afford to drop points against weaker teams like we did against Kazakhstan last time. We need to go into every match looking to take the three points and finish opponents off as early as possible. We want to be part of Euro 2016, and we want to give fans something to cheer about along the way.
Get behind the team and wish us well!
All the best,