New Jets recruit Olivier Boumal has been in Australia and out of quarantine for just over two weeks now and is quickly finding his feet with his new club in what is his seventh nation to play football.
The Cameroon-born winger has spent the majority of his career in Greece having started his youth football in France, before then making moves to Romania, China, Japan and even Georgia.
It’s an impressive resume that has also seen him make six appearances for his national side and features in the Africa Cup of Nations competition. The 32-year-old is banking on that well-travelled experience to help him once again with a new side, as well as being able to assist the host of young players at the Jets.
“With my experience I can help young players,” Boumal said.
“I think I can help them build their career and grow their own identity and more confidence. This will also be with my performance and attitude on the pitch.
“There is a very good relationship between each of the players, so this makes [joining the team] easier for me.”
After a strong showing in the Chinese Super League, and prior at Greek heavyweights Panathinaikos, Boumal joined Yokohama F.Marinos in Japan on a $3.5 million transfer fee and it was from his time there that he became connected with Jets Manager, Arthur Papas.
While Papas joined the club after Boumal’s departure, the two were still familiar with one another and their styles of play and management. Instantly, the call to join the new-look Jets intrigued the new recruit, as too did the chance to play in Australia.
“I was excited,” he said. “I knew Arthur a long time ago…I know the way he wants to play football.
“For me, the style [of play] is not something new. I know it very well.
“Honestly, I didn’t know much about the A-League. I knew some players like Del Piero who played here before.
“I wanted to discover the country and everything about Australia. It’s a good opportunity…[but] I’m here to play football first, then we’ll see things like the beach.”
With the season start date pushed back to November 21, and no opportunities for trial matches just yet, the team are continuing to push one another on the training paddock in preparation.
Although the Round One F3 Derby firmly in the sights of the team, Boumal made clear that every week required the ultimate effort, regardless of the opponent, and it’s methodology he takes into every game.
“I know that in football, everything depends on the way that we approach each game,” he said.
“There are no small or big teams. It all depends on our motivation and our approach every week.
“It’s very intense at training. We’re working really, really hard. We’re trying to be ready for the first game and everyone is giving their best.”