Patryk Misik knows all about the highs and lows of playing professional soccer but he reconciles that with an unforgettable globe-trotting existence.
"On my list I have 21 countries I've visited across the world," says Misik who travelled to New Zealand for the first time to join the ranks of Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers to help them in the Ultra Football Central League this year.
"I've been very lucky to travel and play football for this long. I enjoy it," says the 23-year-old Canadian before the Joshua Stevenson-captained Blues host defending champions Advanced Electrical Western Suburbs at Bluewater Stadium, Park Island, in the 2pm kick off tomorrow.
However, the undefeated, table-topping Blues go into round four having played one more game than undefeated Wellington United whose game against Lower Hutt City FC last weekend was postponed.
The undefeated Declan Edge-coached Suburbs are sitting fifth on the table but have eked out two draws.
"They have a very young team but our coaching staff have been analysing and watching them, leading to our game, to see what their strong and weak points are, so we're hoping to get the three points now," says Misik although some teams are likely to bolster their squads once Team Wellington finish their O-League campaign.
He attributes the Rovers' purple patch to a long pre-season but he is mindful the powerhouse club have high expectations every year.
The midfielder, who scored two goals in each of the pre-season and normal one, believes the Blues' 14 goals, two more than Wellington United, and two victories on the road reflect the collective talent in the team that employ a 4-3-3 formation.
"We definitely have a lot of attack-minded players, which is good, and so we have a lot of power going forward but we also defend very well," says the former under-20 and under-23 Canadian international who also is eligible to play for Poland.
Misik's one-year contract had ended with the SD Ordenes club in Spain so he got in touch with a friend, Maksyn Kowal, who played for Tasman United in the ISPS Handa Premiership and also was a club teammate in Poland.
SD Ordenes were relegated from the fourth to fifth tier last year.
Kowal knew Rovers player/coach Bill Robertson so the rest is history.
While he didn't know much about Napier, it didn't take him long to reach a decision to ply his trade here.
"There are a lot of similarities between Canada and New Zealand but I definitely like the climate here much better.
"The winters in Canada can fall to between minus 30 to minus 40 degrees and it's pretty much winter for seven to eight months of the year so it's been in the 20s here since I arrived here and it's just like summer for me," he says with a laugh.
Misik's family moved to Canada from Poland almost 30 years ago, following his grandparents.
"I was actually the first one born in Canada in my whole family."
The son of Gabi and Kris Misik has one sibling, 19-year-old brother Alex who is pursuing a degree in business at a university in Hamilton, Ontario.
His love for the beautiful game comes from his father who was born in a country where it is the No1 sport.
A transport driver now, Kris pursued a career as a musician and always found a way to play.
"Ever since I was little he kind of stoked the passion in me for football so he used to chuck the ball at me and I would hit it back to him."
The boy who started playing in a team from the age of 5 had a burning desire to play the game professionally in Europe so, on turning 15, he made his move.
He ground his teeth with Toronto Lynx then graduated to Brantford Galaxy before joining the ranks of Slask Wroclaw in Poland, albeit predominantly with the reserve team for four years.
On returning to his birth country, he struck a deal with Ottawa Fury FC in 2015, making his debut in the season opener against the Carolina RailHawks.
However, Ottawa Fury didn't extend his contract that year so he signed with Polish club Rakow Czestochowa.
Misik is lapping up the welcoming atmosphere in Napier and a family-like culture at the club which he believes shows on the park.
The veterans in the side, such as Stevenson and Danny Wilson, helped the rash of newcomers ease into the equation.
All teams will be playing another round on Anzac Day on Wednesday.
■ ROVERS: 1 Ruben Parker Hanks (GK), 3 Liam Schofield, 4 Drew Matthews, 5 Kaeden Atkins, 6 Jamie Wilkinson, 7 Sho Goto, 8 Karan Mandair, 9 Martin Bueno, 10 Patryk Misik, 12 Ethan Ladd, 14 Josh Stevenson (c), 16 Danny Wilson, 17 Fergus Neil, 19 Bill Robertson, 20 Zac Madsen, 21 Dan Robinson (RGK).
Coach: Bill Robertson.
Ast coach: Stu James.