Newly promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf have started the Bundesliga season well with a win over Augsburg and a nil-all draw with Borussia Mӧnchengladbach, with some of their early success attributable to Australian forward Robbie Kruse.
Born on the 5th of October 1988 in Brisbane, Queensland, Kruse has finally received the chance to impress in one of the top European football divisions, the German Bundesliga, and so far he is adapting well..
Kruse is a lively wide forward who usually plays on the left, but the 23-year-old hasn’t easily risen to the promising star he is today.
After graduating from the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Kruse signed his first professional deal with A-League side the Brisbane Roar in 2006, before scoring on his debut in the 2007-08 season at the age of 19. Despite only finding the net seven times in 36 appearances, Kruse was part of a fantastic front three with now FC Utrecht winger Michael Zullo on the other wing, which helped the Roar go on a seven game unbeaten run.
But the Kruse name would be tarnished as the talented forward was involved in two off-field incidents, one which required stitches, the second whilst supposedly nursing a three-week hamstring injury. Roar Coach Frank Farina then gave Kruse his last warning and with the then teenager on his last year of his deal, he was let go. But in came the largest supported club in the land, two-time A-League Champions the Melbourne Victory.
At Victory Kruse was set straight, as he realised that he had potential and turned his focus to football. Kruse’s real shine of form was returned as the youngster standing at 181cm went onto achieve Victory’s young player of the year award in his debut season. His pace, touch and movement was far too much for most sides to control, as he found the net 11 times in just 23 appearances in a stunning second season in Melbourne. Kruse’ performance was rewarded as he earned a callup for the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar, where the Brisbane born forward scored his debut goal in the 6-0 rout over Uzbekistan in the Semi-final.
But with Kruse’s contract at Victory expiring, Fortuna came in and snapped the then 22-year-old Socceroo on a free transfer, inking him to a three-year deal. Kruse struggled for game time last year in his debut season in Germany, only playing 12 games.
Kruse’s focus on football continues in Germany as the Socceroo continues to learn German with his girlfriend and his close friend, Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitch Langerak.
Kruse’s patience and a great preseason found the Australian in Norbert Meier’s starting XI as F95 played well in their opening games of the new season. Kruse looks to have developed a promising partnership with newcomer Dani Schahin, assisting the former Greuther Fürth forward twice against Augsburg in the opening game. In his first two 2012/2013 league matches, Kruse has created six offensive opportunities while completing 78% of his passes and winning 50% of his challenges.
And Kruse was awarded at the international level too as German Socceroo Coach Holger Osieck started the gifted forward in three consecutive Socceroo games, where the AIS product impressed against Lebanon and did considerably well in the shock defeat to Jordan.
The former Brisbane Roar forward’s consistency needs to improve though, especially at the international level because despite a lacklustre performance against the Scots, Kruse was still given a chance against the aforementioned nations, partly down to injuries.
If Fortuna are going to build on their early start and prolong their stay in the Bundesliga, Kruse, in partnership with Schahin, is going to be a key member of the Düsseldorf side which Bundesliga rivals should be wary of.
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