Why Noah Botic decided to return home with Western United

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There are not many 19-year-old’s around the world that have achieved what Noah Botic has in his relatively short career so far.

Most notably scoring four goals at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2019 and finding the back of the net whilst on trial at Manchester United that same year.

This led to a two-year deal with Hoffenheim’s Under-19 academy side.

The same club that has produced Premier League stars such as Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Newcastle United’s Joelinton.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to forge in the footsteps of former Socceroos who had left home at an early age to play professionally in Europe.

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However, there was one major difference. Neither Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano or any others had to deal with the difficulties of the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s a major reason why the young Socceroo has decided to return home after two years abroad.

“I was just a little bit down last season because I wasn’t getting game time overseas. Even though [we were] playing friendly games, it sort of wasn’t the same because it’s not [regular] season games. It just didn’t really have the same effect,” Botic said.

The inability to travel home and see friends and family would weigh on any professional football player. For a 19-year-old that had just moved to the other side of the world, it helped form the basis for his next move.

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“I couldn’t come back during the second season, when I was in Hoffenheim last season so I was just stuck over there training and stuff. It had a bit of an affect on me,” he said.

“So, I thought I want to come back to Australia [and] be closer to my family. Just get the confidence back up, and the game time back up.”

Botic and his family had talks with Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC, Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Western United.

The deciding factor for picking Western United was new head coach, John Aloisi.

One of the most distinguished attackers of his generation, Aloisi is one of only 52 Australian’s to play in the English Premier League. This accompanied stints in Serie A and La Liga, as well as taking the decisive penalty against Uruguay that sent the Socceroos to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

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“With John Aloisi coming in as well, being an attacker like myself, I thought it would be good to go and learn off him. He played in three top flight leagues in Europe, and is obviously a very experienced player with the national team as well. So I thought I could learn a lot from him. That’s the main reason for moving,” Botic said.

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“I just thought I would try and go to a team that will give me the best opportunity and give me the most playing time. John being an attacking coach gives youngsters an opportunity to come off the bench.”

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Putting the disappointment of his European adventure behind him, the mantra of “one step back, two steps forward” has him focused on a big season ahead.

“In the end, playing in Europe is still the end goal,” he said.

Whether that is back in Germany, or anywhere else is unknown.

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For now the focus remains on having a productive season and re-inserting his name into the minds of scouts across the world.

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Dillon Izon
Dillon Izon
Marketing graduate at Monash University. Sports addicted, fan of Manchester United and Melbourne City. My gran “knows” Gareth Bale.

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