Young Brisbane Roar striker Nick D’Agostino says the knowledge he has taken from training with Belgian Pro League side KRC Genk will be invaluable in furthering his development.
D’Agostino received a dream invitation to train in Europe with the Belgian powerhouse club in early August and has since spent three weeks training, developing and improving his game with Genk’s Under 21 side.
Youth development and providing opportunities are core Brisbane Roar values and D'Agostino says the opportunity to experience football in Europe was a dream come true, which has provided him with the knowledge to continue developing as a footballer.
“Football is a lot different [in Europe] compared to here in Australia and I think I now have a better idea of what I need to do to develop as a footballer," he said.
“It’s a lot more technical whereas Australia is lot more physical.
“Over there [in Europe], it’s quite technically-based and we focused on a lot of skill work. It was a real eye opener.
“There were a few first-grade players that came and trained with us. It was good talking to some of them to get a bit of an insight.”
D’Agostino’s hard work clearly impressed the coaching staff as he was rewarded with game-time in an Under 21 pre-season friendly against Dutch side FC Twente.
“I played 80 minutes against FC Twente and hit the post,” D’Agostino said.
“I was told that I played, and that my movement was good. There were really positive reviews.”
The 18-year-old now turns his attention to the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.
D’Agostino was one the Young Roar’s standout players during the PS4 NPL QLD 2016 season, scoring 11 goals in 10 matches before being invited to train alongside the senior team during pre-season.
His hard-work and incredible goal scoring record saw him sign a two-year Hyundai A-League contract in August.
After making his Hyundai A-League debut against Perth Glory during the 2015/16 season, he hopes to continue improving and become a regular member of Brisbane’s game day squad.
“I’ll buckle down and work hard and show the boss [Head Coach John Aloisi] what I can do because I want I want to try and be in that squad every week,” he said.
“I want to learn every aspect I can as well as I can and as quickly as possible, to become the best footballer I can be.
“I believe I’ve got the physical aspect covered, but more so the technical side, the trip provided a real eye-opener.”
“It’s always important to get match fitness so hopefully I can get some game time and score some goals
The dream still remains to one day return and play in Europe.
“I’ll buckle down and work hard but for now, it’s all about seeing what I can contribute to Brisbane Roar.”