If you asked anyone close to Martin Gorrie to describe him in one word, there would be an overwhelming consensus for “adventurer.”
Gorrie has always had a desire to travel and see the world, and football has been a great tool to help him do just that. The adventures began when he left his native Australia to pursue an opportunity to play soccer at the University of Albany. Gorrie always knew if the opportunity to play abroad would come, that he’d jump on it quickly, but the rest was unknown and that didn’t scare him one bit.
Through the ups and downs, the obstacles and the celebrations, Gorrie is more focused than ever on accomplishing his childhood dream of becoming a professional footballer. He will return to Germany after the winter break to continue training and playing with German third division side, SV Elversberg.
Here’s the full interview with 2015 AFC Ann Arbor midfielder, Martin Gorrie.
AFCAA: Football brought you from Australia to the States for college. What was your experience like at Albany?
Going to the states was a big move. It was something I really wanted to do after I finished high school. I was very attracted to the idea of playing football in a professional environment, travelling to another country, experiencing a new culture, meeting new people and also getting a university degree under my belt - and that's exactly what I did. It was a ride full of ups and downs, but it certainly transformed who I am as a person. The first year I was actually deemed ineligible to play, so spent a whole year just training and not playing which really tested my resilience. The second year I went from the starting 11 in the beginning of the season to barely playing at all - meanwhile dealing with some personal health challenges. But I persevered and ended up captaining the team to our first ever regular-season championship in conference history - so it was a big turnaround for me. Overall a great experience.
AFCAA: We were fortunate enough to have you on the roster for our inaugural season. What was most memorable about your experience in Ann Arbor?
The culture surrounding AFC Ann Arbor in its first year was incredible. The job the owners did to put all of that together in the first year was incredible. Not to mention the fans that turned up each week singing and chanting. I felt really at home there, and loved the vibe around the club. Ann Arbor itself is a really cool city as well, so I had plenty of exploring and adventures while I was there.
AFCAA: After graduating, you've been busy traveling and playing. Give us a timeline of what you've been up to and how football has played a role in those experiences.
I graduated in December 2015. I spent a month travelling in Hawaii in January, and then moved back to Australia with my girlfriend Abigail (who I stole from America). It was great to be home in Australia for 6 months working and playing football - but it wasn't for long as I was ready for the next adventure. I have always wanted to see if I could crack a professional contract in Europe, so since July I have been playing semi-professional football with SV Elversberg in Germany. It has been an incredible experience so far, playing at a high level, learning a new language, immersing myself in a completely new culture, traveling around Europe when I can, and meeting a lot of cool people!
AFCAA: What's next for you?
I'm finally home in Australia for 6 weeks over Christmas break to visit my family, spend some time in the sun and escape the German winter! I will be coming back over here to Germany to finish the season with my club. From January to July I plan to have an agent who can help me set up some trials and opportunities at professional clubs and really see if I can make it happen. A professional contract is my goal, however I'm embracing the journey and really just enjoying applying myself to something I have always loved to do - play football.
AFCAA: Did you ever imagine football would create the experiences you've had in your life so far?
Football has taken me far and wide, allowed me to challenge and apply myself in all different environments, grow and mature as a man, meet new people, experience new cultures and a whole lot more! I always seen myself travelling and playing football - but sometimes it's hard to comprehend that so many of the great things I have experienced has all been because of the round ball game.
AFCAA: What advice do you have for young aspiring players?
Get clear about what it is you want in football, and how you would like to apply yourself. I believe when players look back on their football careers, it won't necessarily be the level of success they had as a player that will give them fulfillment and satisfaction, but it will be how much they applied themselves, how much effort they gave and how much they enjoyed every aspect of the journey.
AFCAA: Any other stories, thoughts and comments you'd like to share would be awesome if you have them.
For any football player out there that reads this and really wants to take their game to the next level, my college coach Trevor Gorman recently recommended a book to me that has transformed my game over the past 3 months. It's called the Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. It’s all about getting out of your own way, thinking less and more allowing more natural learning to take place in your game. It has also allowed me to really enjoy my football more and understand why I do what I do.
Lastly I would say to any player if the opportunity is there for you to challenge yourself abroad, I would highly recommend and encourage it. Its great for personal development and developing as a player!