As new Melbourne Victory recruit Migjen Basha was substituted on to the field late in the game last Saturday night, it was a relief for the Albanian to finally be on the park.
Basha, who was the final signing by Marco Kurz this off-season, experienced visa issues that delayed his arrival into Australia and limited his preparation ahead of Round 1.
In perhaps what can be said to be a stroke of luck, all paperwork was approved and finalised just in time for Basha to make his Victory debut in front of a boisterous home crowd – something he will never forget.
“There were a lot of people there, and it was nice to be on the team for the first game, even on the bench,” said Basha.
“I enjoyed the atmosphere and although we didn’t win the game, I think it’s very important to not lose the first game and we can take some positives into the next game.
“It all happened very quick because I did only three training sessions after I didn’t get the visa for two weeks, but I’m very happy to be here now and I’m enjoying getting to know my new teammates.”
The club and new teammates have all welcomed Basha with open arms since his arrival into Melbourne.
Although he isn’t confident with his English, he finds it hardest to understand others compared to communicating correctly himself.
“The organisation has impressed me – everyone tries to help you settle and develop,” said Basha.
“Even if I don’t speak English very well, every teammate tries to speak with me and that’s very nice of them to do.
“When I speak very bad English, they still understand me, but the problem is when I speak with Brown or the Goalkeeper Acton I don’t understand sometimes because they speak with a different accent, which is very difficult for me!
“Sometimes when I don’t understand them, I just smile and I leave.”
It was a quick taste of Hyundai A-League action for Basha who came on in the 86th minute in the Melbourne Derby, however this has still left the Albanian international with a clear focus of what his role will be this season and what he wants to achieve during his time in Australia.
“I think we played well but we weren’t at our best – which is okay because it was only our first game,” said Basha.
“We’re going to work better to fix some things and I think once we click the rest will fall into place, because we have good players and we are a good team.
“For me personally it’s about helping the team achieve its targets. I am here to help the younger players and hopefully also to have a successful season.”