Canberra junior George Timotheou has taken a major step in his soccer career, making his Bundesliga debut in Germany on Sunday morning.
Timotheou helped Schalke to a draw against Stuttgart, with neither side able to find the back of the net in Gelsenkirchen.
Timotheou moved to Germany almost 12 months ago after failing to keep his place in the Sydney FC system and struggling to become a regular in the A-League.
But the defender and former junior Socceroo refused to give up and landed a deal overseas to ignite his career, culminating in his first match. He played the full 90 minutes in the back three, making three tackles, one interception, three clearances and one blocked shot.
Schalke will finish 14th in the Bundesliga this year and Timotheou is set for a bigger role in the second year of his contract next season.
"It's a much different mentality to Australia. Football is the priority, you wake up and all you think about is football," Timotheou said when he signed his deal last year.
"In Australia sometimes you have to go to work instead of training but even Schalke's reserve team is a fully professional environment."