Since arriving at South Melbourne Football Club in November 2015, attacking midfielder Marcus Schroen has taken little time to settle in.
This can be put down to the fact that Schroen called SMFC home for a brief time as a junior.
“The first year I played here was in the under-18s and that was under George Stamatelos. We had a really good year and ended up winning the league. Then the next year I played under Joe Montemurro and that was another great year because we won the league with about five games to go.”
“I was also involved with the seniors a fair bit as well,” Schroen tells smfc.com.au. “It was a really good experience for me to be part of the seniors at such a young age and to come off the bench twice was great for my development.”
While Schroen was not a complete stranger to his current surroundings, he received quite a shock at the newly furnished facilities that are now present at Lakeside Stadium.
This is due to the fact that he departed South Melbourne in 2011, the exact year that construction of the then Lakeside Oval began.
“The first thing I noticed since returning was the facilities,” Schroen says.
“The facilities that you see here are second to none in the State and just being here is amazing. Not only that, the professional setup and environment of the whole club is really positive and the culture around the club is really good.”
The reasoning behind Schroen’s decision to part with South Melbourne in 2011 was the chance to join Dutch side FC Den Bosch. This was an opportunity that the young player could not pass up.
Schroen spent two years in the Dutch club’s youth system, an experience which he found beneficial in the growth of his game.
“The technical and tactical side of the football in Holland is on another level,” Schroen says.
“I played against some great players and some great clubs, and just to be in that environment when you’re living and breathing football day in, day out, and training in a professional environment it was really great for my development and took me to a whole new level.”
After a stint with the then Melbourne Heart Youth Team in 2013, Schroen signed for the Dandenong Thunder ahead of the 2014 NPL season. He made 11 senior appearances and scored two goals.
His breakout season, however, came last year with Hume City.
In the 2015 PS4 NPL Season Schroen made 24 appearances for Hume City, netting an impressive six times.
Still, his most notable performances came in the FFA Cup where a remarkable run of three goals in three games led to Hume City exceeding all expectations by making the semi-finals of the competition.
Marcus Schroen was consequently named in the 2015 FFA Cup All Star Team and is now hoping to repeat his heroics for South Melbourne in order to build upon the club’s prestige.
“Whether it’s scoring goals, or putting the ball on Millsy’s (Milos Lujic) head, or even helping out defensively, I’m just happy to contribute to the team,” Schroen says.
“The club’s got a rich history and we want to build on that going into the future. I feel like it is my home and i love being here”
After such a big season with Hume City last year, Schroen was eased into the current preseason. Nevertheless, he is now looking to hit his strides as the commencement of South Melbourne’s 2016 campaign approaches.
“Ever since coming back from the New Year we’ve been going really hard and getting the fitness levels up to game standard so it’s going really well,” he says.
At only 22 years of age, Schroen’s feet remain firmly on the ground as he understands there is still plenty of growth in his game.
“You hear the players at the top of the game even when they get to that latter stages of their career they’re still developing and learning every day,” Schroen says.
“Coming here and being a part of what I’d say is probably the best club in the state will only help me to develop further.”