Gerhardt loves being a journeyman

Patrick Gerhardt has played football across four continent's, while that may make him seem unsettled, the Liberia international is anything but.

Patrick Gerhardt's road less travelled has taken him to four continents as a professional footballer and the Swiss-born defender's wanderlust means Melbourne Heart is unlikely to be the last stop.

There were plenty of raised eyebrows when Heart manager John Aloisi made Gerhardt his first import signing in June last year but the 27-year-old Liberian international has quickly proven his worth in the Hyundai A-League.

Gerhardt has started 15 of Heart's 16 matches of the 2012/13 season, becoming one of the competition's most consistent imports, but seemed a bit of a risk for the Red and Whites before his arrival in Australia.

Heart had become Gerhardt's fourth different club in his fourth different country in as many years and the term 'journeyman', as well as the stigma associated with the tag, seemed apt for the central defender.

But Gerhardt seems to relish the label.

"I think it's important that you see a lot of things in your life and when you have the opportunity (as a footballer) to see a lot of things and play good football, you should do that," says Gerhardt in the lead-up to Heart's clash with Adelaide United on Friday.

Gerhardt was born in Switzerland in 1985, the son of a Swiss man and a Liberian woman.

"They met in Africa because my father ... had a beer factory in Liberia," says Gerhardt.

"So they met there and that's why I'm half Liberian."

Having started his career with Young Boys in his home city of Bern, Gerhardt was loaned out on three separate occasions to play in the lower leagues of Swiss football with his most successful period coming on loan at SR Delemont (31 matches) in the 2007/08 season.

After his stint with Delemont ended, Gerhardt left Switzerland, playing in Romania, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while also representing his mother's country at senior level before deciding on a stint in the A-League.

Former Queensland Roar and Perth Glory midfielder Jordan Simpson playing a key role in Gerhardt's decision after the two had been at Young Boys together.

"He (Simpson) said it's great, it's a great country and it makes the decision much easier," Gerhardt said.

Gerhardt won two cup titles and the Bosnia and Herzegovina league championship with FK Zeljeznicar Sarajevo before moving to Heart.

While most players might want to continue their successful time with a club, Gerhardt was worried expectations had risen to unrealistic levels at Zeljeznicar and although he had opportunities to play in Germany, Slovakia and Serbia, he told his agent he wanted something 'totally new'.

Having also left Brantford Galaxy after claiming the Canadian Soccer League championship in 2010, it seems unlikely Gerhardt will stay with Heart for the rest of his career, although he refuses to rule out anything.

"I have a two-year deal and I think I will (stay for) the two years and then anything is open, you know?" says Gerhardt.

Gerhardt believes his experience in some of the more obscure leagues in the world has given him confidence to try and succeed anywhere.

A confidence he may not have acquired if he had remained in the country of his berth.

"In Switzerland, nothing will be (a problem) for you (as a footballer)," says Gerhardt.

"You know, everything will be how it was promised to you and (in Romania and Bosnia) I learnt to fight for myself and learnt to protect me and defend me and I think this has helped me a lot."