Marko Milutinovic may have slipped through the academy cracks but the Canberra soccer export is making a name for himself in the European ranks.
The Woden Valley junior and former NPL Capital Football player with the Cooma Tigers packed his bags for Serbia as a teenager in 2015 and hasn't looked back.
Milutinovic is contracted with Serbian first division side FK Jagondina after the 20-year-old was spotted on tour with the Woden Valley under-15s in 2011.
The midfielder stayed in contact with Serbian soccer scouts and regularly sent footage of his matches in a move that eventually launched his European dream.
Milutinovic described himself as a late bloomer after "shooting up" when he turned 16 and said the Serbian style of play has made him a tougher player.
"I've evolved physically and technically, in Australia I was never really a physical player but I've really developed my game in that area," Milutinovic told Fairfax Media from Serbia.
"Here it's a very fast paced and it's just a lot different because soccer is their number one sport and everyone plays it so the standard is very high, even in the lower leagues.
"It's been a really good experience adapting to the lifestyle and style of play here, it's very technical and physical and really enjoyable."
"It's a been a great life experience, I miss my family but to develop as a player I had to go away and I feel lucky, not everyone gets this opportunity so I'm grateful and now I need to make the most of it."
Milutinovic has spent this season on loan to Jagondina's feeder club FK Tabane, but is expected come into the first team next season.
"I'm on a one year deal until the end of the season and they sent me out on loan to get me more minutes but they're said they're very interested in keeping me on," Milutinovic said.
"I need to way up my options though because I've got other clubs interested in signing me, so we'll wait until the end of the season and see what the best option is.
"I really want to see how far I can take my football, at the moment I'm on the right track so if I keep working hard we'll see how far I can go but you could say sky's the limit."
NPL CAPITAL FOOTBALL ROUND SIX:
Saturday: Woden Weston v Tuggeranong United at Woden Park Enclosed at 3pm; Belconnen United v Monaro Panthers at McKellar Park at 5:30pm.
Sunday: Canberra FC v Cooma Tigers at Deakin Stadium at 3pm; Canberra Olympic v Gungahlin United at O'Connor Enclosed at 3pm.