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Former Victory foreigner's damning A-League assessment

6:05 AM IST 23/09/19
Honda/Niedermeier Melbourne Victory
The German has returned to his homeland after a season in Australia where he felt his experience wasn't utilised on and off the pitch

The A-League is failing to make the most of its foreigners with clubs focused more on silverware than off-field progress, according to former Melbourne Victory defender Georg Niedermeier.

After one season Down Under, the 33-year-old has returned to Germany, where he's currently training with Bayern Munich's reserve side as he looks for a new team. 

Niedermeier featured 19 times in the A-League and has left the competition adamant it isn't utilising the experience and knowledge of its foreign players.

"In the beginning it was a big change, mainly because of the quality of the football and the attitude in the association and club," Niedermeier told German outlet TZ

"I found it very difficult in the beginning, that the club did not use the experience of foreign players - did not want to use it - both in terms of training and quality of training, as well as in simple processes in everyday football. We all played in different countries and experienced a lot. 

"The professional football, which is still in its infancy there - the A-League is 14 years old - to bring it forward was not a goal. It was all about the title.

"Melbourne, for example, is the most successful club in the A-League, but from time to time I had the impression that they did not know what opportunities existed for football in other countries. 

"My coach last year, Kevin Muscat, has been a player in the club since 2005 and immediately became coach. The Australian players have never visited a junior performance centre." 

Prior to his stint in Australia, Niedermeier had spent his entire career in Germany playing primarily for VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga

Though noting how the salary cap has held back the A-League, the defender believes Victory could compete in Germany's second division. 

"The salary cap is very low, which makes it very difficult to get quality from players," he said.

"Creating a squad that pushes a healthy rivalry and evolves over a period of time is difficult under these conditions.

"It is not easy to judge, but I think that with our team in Germany we could be in the second division but only as a team that defends passionately."