Mirko Boland believes experiencing an Australian pre-season for the first time last year means he will be better equipped this time around.
The midfielder returned to training earlier in the week due to being granted an extra seven days of leave after marrying fiancé, Natalie, back home in Germany.
Indeed, Boland revealed he did maintain a level of fitness while also enjoying the break.
“I like to jog a little bit and work a little bit in the gym and do some exercises,” he explained.
“Not hard but staying a little bit fit at first and then after that we got a program from our fitness coaches.
“I’m feeling right now really good, but when you get on the pitch it’s a little bit different work but I feel good.”
Upon his arrival to the Reds in July 2018, the 32-year-old admitted it took some time adapting to a new country and the unique footballing challenges associated with that.
It is a far cry from what the former Eintracht Braunschweig player was used to experiencing in Europe with the length of pre-season, warmer weather, and travel distances just some of the obvious differences.
However, he feels he is better prepared now with a year under his belt ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
“I think to learn in the first year is really important,” he said.
“Also to know how it works in the league and what I’ve to do here and that was completely different for me.
“The game style was also different here, different time zones, the flights, different climate, the weather.
“The grounds are different than in Europe, so there are a couple of things that are different and you’ve to learn how to work with that.”
A nasty hamstring injury in November last year restricted Boland to a total of 20 games.
He indicated his desire of improving and being more influential from midfield.
“And I hope I can do that this year much better than the first year,” he added.
“I think my first year (here) I started really well and then had a bad injury.
“After the bad injury I expected a little bit more from myself but I want to do better this year and I’m really excited about that.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.