Moving up the Ladder

When leaving your own country to play professionally abroad, you need to realize that teams demand much more from an import than from a domestic player.

Moving up the LadderAs an import player, it is not good enough to just be part of the rotation as a role player. You must bring something extra. You must be a dominant player. This is the key to moving up the ladder and advancing to a higher level of competition each year for more money.

Every team always dreams about a franchise player. They hope for a player whose skills are superior to the team and its competition level. That is why teams initially focus their attention on players who either: a) played on a higher level than the club, or b) dominated at the same level as the club. They are not very likely to look for players who played below the level of the club.

In those rare cases when a team does show interest in a player who played at a lower level, that player must have been one of the most dominant players in that league. Nothing else will do.

If the team decides to give this lower-level player a chance, it comes with a price for that player. In return for taking a chance on him, the club expects the player to have modest salary demands. If not, he will not be an attractive alternative to proven veterans and thus runs the risk of pricing himself out of the market. That’s the trade-off players in this situation must understand: they enjoy exposure and possible explosive career growth in exchange for a more modest salary.

If a player dominates at a certain level, he can choose between two options. He can move up a level to a stronger league for a salary that may not increase much, if at all, or he can stay at the same level of competition and get an increase in salary.

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