A-League quality 'so much better' than six years ago - Thomas Broich
Thomas Broich says there is a night and day difference between the standard of the A-League now, compared to when he first joined Brisbane Roar.
Broich will play his 150th A-League match for the Roar on Saturday night when they host fellow title contenders Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium.
It has been nearly six years since the former German youth international, having grown tired and sceptical of the business side of football in the ruthless Bundesliga, took a leap of faith and joined then-coach Ange Postecoglou in Brisbane.
It proved the defining move of Broich's career, as he went on to capture three A-League titles with the Roar, two Johnny Warren medals and a reputation as arguably the best import player ever seen at domestic level in Australia.
"To be quite honest with you I signed a three-year deal and I wasn't too sure if I was going to last," Broich said.
"I was pretty much done with football and just took a chance in Australia without really believing in anything anymore.
"Ange brought that back and ever since, I enjoy my football so much."
Broich, 35, is enjoying it more and more these days as the on-field quality of the A-League continues to rise.
"It's so much quicker, tactics are so much better, individual skills of players and even the young ones," he said.
"When I first arrived, I couldn't believe some of the players that were actually training with the first team. They just had no right to be there.
"Now I look at 17-year-olds and they've got incredible quality already.
"There's so many promising signs and the league is only going to get better and better."
The question is how much longer Broich, whose marquee contract ends after the 2016-17 season, has left in him.
Benched for the first time in his A-League career two weeks ago, Broich freely admits he is no longer the player he once was, at least physically, and his influence on the Roar team has waned somewhat over the last couple of seasons.
More time in midfield appears to be on the cards after the recruitment of Tommy Oar, who, like Broich, prefers to play on the left wing.
"Don't put any pressure on me. I enjoy my football, I'm still fit -- we'll see what happens next year, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel," Broich said.