He’s had a somewhat turbulent year, with injuries, relegation and less playing time than he had hoped. Now Papua New Guinea international Alwin Komolong speaks to Football in Oceania about his time in Germany and the importance of staying in Europe.
The 22-year-old is currently without a club after leaving Stuttgarter Kickers following their relegation to the Oberliga, Germany’s fifth tier. He now keeps fit training with the U23s of 2. Bundesliga club Holstein Kiel.
I’m hoping for it to continue in Europe whether it be Germany or elsewhere.
“The contract expired with the relegation. We talked about maybe resigning, however, I had my reservations due to other external factors, Komolong says.
“Generally I loved it in Stuttgart, beautiful city, good life, awesome training facility, amazing stadium, and great fans are most of the things I will miss.”
His time in Germany started well with Komolong playing regularly from the beginning, but then the team started struggling and changed coach. That turned things around. All of a sudden Komolong found himself on the bench or out of the squad altogether. And when it finally looked like he was making his way back into the team, he got hit by an injury.
“To be honest with you I’m not sure why that was. I know at the time the team as a group was struggling. Also worthy to note that he was the former U19 coach for the club and did start and played more of his youth players than the previous coach. I was also injured for a lengthy period going into, and after, the winter break.
“I am fully recovered now although dealing with a minor muscle problem currently. The injury itself was quite annoying as the recovery time didn’t go as planned and ended being sidelined longer than I should have been. It’s not an experience I would ever like to go through again.”
Komolong would describe his time in Germany as “great”, despite the struggles on the pitch.
“The German experience as a whole has been great. Being in a professional environment day in day out has broadened my perspective and has given me a lot of new insights into the game and professional football as a whole. Also being in a culture the lives and breathes football can be quite overwhelming and challenging at times, but I try to learn as much as I can and work harder to be better,” he says.
He attended a trial in the Czech Republic 2nd division earlier this summer, but that didn’t go anywhere. The goal is to stay in Europe for as long as he can and the central defender admits going back to Oceania or Papua New Guinea would be a defeat.
S 🇦🇹 @FK_Pardubice trénuje reprezentant 🇵🇬 Papuy-Nové Guiney Alwin Komolong, herní premiéru bude mít 📆 ve středu v souboji proti juniorce @FCSlovanLiberec ❗️
Více v článku: ➡️➡️➡️ https://t.co/buP1Rh2UFg#priprava2018 #fkpce @FN_liga pic.twitter.com/LNvg0wnjDi
— FK Pardubice (@FK_Pardubice) June 25, 2018
“I’m hoping for it to continue in Europe whether it be Germany or elsewhere. Going back to Oceania or PNG is not really on the table at all for at the moment and I guess you could say it would be admitting defeat, however, I’m still young and I’ve still got a few opportunities that can come my way. As it is in football you can never plan long term, things can change overnight so I am quite optimistic.”
Football in Oceania wishes Alwin all the best with finding a new club.