After 18 months under his belt in the Slovakian Fortuna Liga with DAC Dunajská Streda, Wolves midfielder Christian Herc will now spend the next two seasons on loan with FC Viktoria Plzen.
Ahead of his move to the Czech Republic, wolves.co.uk paid a visit to Slovakia to catch up with Herc, as well as his former DAC teammates Connor Ronan and Daniel Csoka – two fellow Wolves loanees – about how his time back in his homeland has helped his development as a professional.
The 20-year-old, who has also agreed a new three-year deal with Wolves this week, explains why he is more suited to playing in European top-flights rather than in the lower leagues of England, as well as why he believes more young Wolves players should learn their trade abroad.
On his 18 months at Dunajská Streda
“I have enjoyed every minute of my time since I came here from last winter. I’ve been really happy here and want to finish the season on a high.
“This season has been very successful because we qualified for Europe for the first time in 25 years and did quite well in the Europa League. The league season has also been very good, we finished second – the best in the club’s history.
“The only negative was in the cup when we were a little bit unlucky, but in the league and Europe everything was very good.”
On his performances for DAC
“We have a very strong starting 11. We went on a run of five wins-in-a-row, and every player in the team is very good, so when your form dips you find yourself out of the team. But even when I was on the bench I would give 100 per cent in the hope that the coach would put me back in the team.
“Because the team is so good, everybody must fight for their place, which only makes us better as players.
“Being back in Slovakia really helped me a lot when I first came here, it has helped me grow in all different ways; in my personality, making decisions, it’s helped everything, and I was happy I could come here.”
On benefits of playing in the Slovakian top-flight
“I didn’t want to go and play in the lower leagues in England because I like to play football and this club wants to play football. If you see our games, we play on the ground and we play attractive football.
“I’ve seen some non-league and lower league football in England and I thought that it’s always about long balls and fighting, and that kind of football is not for me.
“I wanted to come here and was happy that Wolves said I could. In the end, I think Wolves, DAC, myself and everyone have benefitted from me coming here and making that next step.
“I think I’ve developed in every way on the pitch; I’m more serious – sometimes – but I think I’ve really developed while I’ve been here.”
On helping his Wolves teammates settle in at the club
“It’s been very good to have both Connor [Ronan] and Dan [Csoka] here. I didn’t know Dan from before as he joined Wolves when I first came here on loan, but me and Connor played together for two years in the under-23s.
“It’s perfect to play with him and I couldn’t wait when I found out he was going to be coming here and we could play together again because he’s such a good player, who I know very well.
“I don’t think I did much to help them settle. Everybody here speaks English and everybody has helped them – maybe I helped them a little bit more, but I don’t think I did.
“Obviously, if they ask me something then I can help them, if they wanted to go somewhere they didn’t know I could take them, but I don’t think I helped them a lot.”
On more players from Wolves moving abroad
“I think it would be good if more players were to come here. English players at Wolves think Slovakian football is not very good, but if they came here they would see how much of a good league it is.
“It’s been a good league for me because I had no professional football experience before I came here, and this is my first club where I’ve played in the first-team.
“For players like me who were playing in the under-23s and they don’t feel they will get a chance in the first-team at Wolves and want to go out on loan, then I think this club is perfect for them because this club has everything you need to develop as a young player.
“A lot of the players in the starting 11 here are under the age of 25 and were born in 1997/1998, so it’s a young group, so if players from Wolves came here they would develop greatly.
“Every player who has come here from Wolves has been good and helped the team, so a stronger partnership between the teams would be good for both clubs as well as for the development of the player.”