Brandin McClay, above, signing his first professional contract with SpVgg Weiden of the German Oberliga after his participation in the PRO IFX

My soccer experience in Germany was life changing. Training with various clubs and leagues helped me develop as a player. Some of the clubs I went to included SpVgg Bayreuth, SV Weidenberg, SGV Friesen, and SpVgg Weiden. It was a very unique journey for me. The language barrier was difficult but sometimes soccer has its own language…a language I believe I was able to master.

As you walk in the door before every training session the players would shake hands and say “Hallo” and make you feel comfortable, but once on the pitch it became a very competitive atmosphere. The playing surfaces were extremely difficult in the middle leagues. They played on “Hardplatz”, which is like fine gravel similar to some baseball fields in the States. All of the top divisions have natural grass fields which were in immaculate condition. I was fortunate to be able to play well on all surfaces.

2008-9 SpVgg Weiden Team, McClay third from bottom left

My intension was to become a professional player, no matter what I had to do, where I had to go, or how hard I had to work. I went through some rough times but a trial with a club down the road led me to a two year professional contract with a quality D4 club.

When SpVgg Weiden offered me a contract to become a professional footballer, a lifelong goal of mine was achieved. Language barriers, difficult playing conditions, a foreign land only made my resolve all the more resolute. I love this game and I hope to make it my lifelong career…first as a player…next as a coach…and ultimately as a person who will give as much back to the game as it has given me. At this point I am so thankful to all the people and organizations, particularly IFX who have contributed to my success.

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