Happy New Year! 2013 Review

31 December 2013

 

Here I am back infront of the computer in Australia and it’s time to reflect on what’s been another crazy, unpredictable year.

It’s been a solid year of football in Amsterdam. Senior football action with my club and playing/training constantly with lots of ex-pros and very good players in the Dutch “Hoofdklasse” which is the highest “amateur” reserve league in Holland after the two professional divisions. Alot of these players would kill it elsewhere if Holland wasn’t full of so much talent. The highlight, when I had the privilege of watching my beloved Chelsea in the Europa League final five minutes from my apartment.

I’m now about 1.5 years through my business bachelors degree in Amsterdam, I’ve continued to have an awesome time in Holland, I’ve made more great friends around the world and I can confidently say that I can now live fully independently meaning I can cook, clean, take care of everything on my own 16,6000km away from my family and never really feel homesick which is a big plus. I think that’s pretty good for someone who’s 20 years old.

The months flew by like this…

Janurary – Trained In Australia

Feb – June – Played 10-20 matches for JOS Watergraafsmeer

June – Redesigned my training program for maximum effectiveness

July – Started the new season with JOS

September – Played in a showcase match against Forest Green Rovers
– Had private dinner/meetings and conversations in London with Jordan.K (Create.it), Blake.W and Rasmus, successful entrepreneurs involved in talent ID who may be crucial contacts in the future

October – Got tweeted by one of Spain’s most prolific football journalists
– Semi-finalist for the Fieldoo Josep Minguella (messi’s agent) challenge
– Was featured in Australia’s FourFourTwo

December – Played 10-15 matches for JOS, mostly on bench.

I’m constantly improving and I love the art of getting better. It’s something I enjoy more and more.

I didn’t make what I wanted to become in JOS this year. Something has to change next year because I don’t deserve to be in the position I am. I train harder than anyone else, yet there’s coaches and politics that prevent me from showing myself.

I’m definitely more relaxed on football. There are many things out of my control that I let flow. In the meantime, everything that is in my control I use to create luck, opportunity and to improve myself.

The most important thing I learnt this year was about relationships. Girlfriends, love and how they tie into your goals and ambitions. I never realised how much impact a serious relationship can have on your life until now. Love really can change alot you thought you knew about yourself and what you desire. I guess I now have a different view on people, towards life and learnt how overpowering your heart can be when it’s in a fight against your head/logic.

But what I also learnt about myself is that I can sacrifice or put relationships on hold in order to achieve what I dream of. Self-fulfillment is the most important thing you can live for.

Hanging out in Lucerne, Switzerland

Hanging out in Lucerne, Switzerland

Do you judge the success of your life based on the amount of money you have, or the amount of amazing experiences you’ve encountered?

This year I’ve got to travel to Dubai for a day, Prague, New York and Boston, had meetings in London, witnessed beautiful mountains in Switzerland, vacayed in France and spent some time playing in the middle of nowhere in Italy.

If I compared myself to anyone I know my age, I must be the worlds richest man on the amount of awesome, unique, thrilling experiences I’ve had. It’s also really comforting to have a sense that everything I’m doing in my life at the moment is the right thing to do. As I said last year, I have friends like brothers, an amazing family and an amazing life. I hope that never changes. Sure, it has it’s ups and downs, but then again who doesn’t?

Even after having all this opportunity in my life, I still have the hunger and desire for more. I want to really establish myself as a footballer. I really want to establish my business.

I used to enjoy not knowing any idea what I’ll do next week, next month, next year. But when you live like that, it’s really challenging to plan things for the future. I think I’m craving more stability now, so I can say with more certainty what I’m doing in let’s say.. 6 months 🙂 Right now, I don’t know what I’ll be doing this time next month.

This reflection turned into more about my personal life than football. Everything is connected. I am definitely still focused on getting myself into a pro club. There’s nothing more important than a successful conclusion to this story that I can be proud of for the rest of my life, in business, in football, in everything. Right now, I’m learning to enjoy the challenge, as Jay Demerit said when I interviewed him, “ENJOYING the grind and the challenge, expecting it, and not getting down by it.”

I need to get on my grind again with making connections and updating the blog every week.

It’s off to Sydney tomorrow to spend time with my friends for New Years. Oh man, I have no idea what this fresh new 2014 will bring. It’s already time for another world cup, I don’t know what will happen with this love thing, there’s this new football training idea I’ve been dedicating alot of my time on this month, there’s a few opportunities being talked about abroad, there’new people to meet, experiences to experience and I’ll be turning 21 (holy shit!).

New Goals:
I don’t think I need to change much right now, and I’m already constantly trying to reach my short-term goals by testing and revising what I do. Some new ones though…

– Get back to updating blog every Sunday
– Maintain a 25% higher level of fitness for competitive advantage

Whatever happens in the future, my mum said today you’re only 20 once. It’s time to enjoy this moment, because inevitably, things will change.

Here’s to a happy new year!

P.S. In case you wanted to see what I wrote as new years reflections the past three years.

2010

2011

2012

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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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