Cougars welcome duo
IT IS a long trip from Europe to Australia but for Rudi Mozr and Jan Urban they intend to make the most of the journey.
The pair left a bitterly cold Czech Republic on Friday and arrived in Rockhampton late yesterday afternoon.
For the 21-year-old Mozr the trip was not a totally new experience as he has been in Australia before, playing football for the University side at Sydney two years ago.
That was where he met CQ Cougars captain Troy Ruthven and the pair have managed to keep in touch since then.
The decision to return to Australia was an easy one for Mozr who still speaks excellent English despite hardly using the language since leaving Australia.
"I don't like the cold," he said; "it was under zero when we left home, it's crazy, today we arrive and its 30 degrees."
Admittedly Rockhampton locals might not agree with the young footballer, especially with the showery weather the region is currently experiencing but Mozr has already made his plans.
"I can't wait to get to the beach," he said.
However, the tired traveller said it wasn't his immediate priority.
"All I need is a bed now," he said. "I didn't sleep (on the journey)."
Both Mozr and Urban hope to get over the jet lag quickly as the pair are scheduled to make their debuts for the Cougars at Blackwater on Saturday when they face the Emerald Eagles.
The only information the two players have received about the Cougars, and the Queensland State League, has been from Ruthven.
"I have been told a little bit, but we will have a lot more time to speak now," he said.
"The important thing is Troy tells me they are a good group of boys."
Cougars coach Joe Fenech has already pencilled in the name of Mozr for the left back position but the Czech player said that is not his natural position in the team.
"I've just played left back here in Australia," he said.
"I like to play in the midfield, as I like to shoot and play a passing game."
Not that Mozr intends to object.
"If the coach says play left back then I have no problems," he said with a shrug.
For Mozr there is no real difference between playing football in Australia compared to Europe.
"The ball everywhere is the same," he said. "Here it (the game) is a bit stronger, in Europe a bit faster."
For Urban the transition to living in Rockhampton is slightly more difficult as the big man is not confident with the language.
Urban plays as a centre back and admits his strength will be when the ball is in the air.
With the assistance of Mozr, acting as an interpreter, Urban said he responded to the call to join the Cougars when Ruthven asked Mozr if he could bring a mate to Australia.
"I thought, why not," he said.
The decision has forced him to put his university education on hold, a similar problem Mozr faced when he first came to this country. Mozr was in his final year at high school but finished his schooling when he returned home.
What is likely to be the final "import" for the Cougars season arrives today.
A French-born striker, who has been playing in New South Wales, flies in to Rockhampton this morning to trial for the Cougars.