STEFFEN Wohlfarth, the former Bayern Munich and Freiburg striker, wants to use his spell at Ross County to smash lazy perceptions of himself back in his own homeland.
Wohlfarth, who has agreed a deal in Dingwall to the end of the season, has been battling to escape third-tier football in Germany. He was raised in a talented youth side at Freiburg among stars of the future like Fulham’s Sascha Riether and Hamburg’s Dennis Aogo. But, despite winning a move to giants Bayern Munich in 2011, the 29-year-old has often felt under-valued in his native land. Now the SPL and Ross County offer him a chance to prove his doubters wrong.
The deal was hatched by County midfielder Mark Fotheringham, who alerted boss Derek Adams to the availability of his ex-Freiburg team-mate. Fotheringham told Adams that powerful 6ft 1ins frontman Wohlfarth would be perfect for the cut and thrust of Scottish football. Unhappy at third division side SV Wehen Wiesbaden, Wohlfarth cut a deal to leave in early January. After a two-week trial with County, he sealed a five-month deal with the club on Monday evening. Wohlfarth said: “I think it is time now because back in Germany everyone knows me and they say ‘Steffen is this kind of striker’. They think they know all that I am capable of, but maybe I’m not what the people are talking about. I think I am a better player than a third league player in Germany. I haven’t had the chance to play in a first league in my career and I haven’t even played in a second league for a long time.
“Earlier in my career, I played only 40 games in the second league in Germany but the standard is good right down the levels. Now, is the right time for a move, I believe. I want to experience something new, learn something new and get the chance to speak better English. And I want to play outside Germany in a better league and prove I am a better player than people back home think.
“Here is the perfect league for me, I hope, because I like Scottish football and the British style of football. I have talked often with Mark Fotheringham about coming here, since I first played with him six years ago at Freiburg. After he moved here to Ross County, we spoke at least every month and he told me good things about the club.
“He has always told me that Scotland was my league. I thought maybe in a few years I would come and when he called me again in January to invite me here for training I was keen. I had agreed my release from my contract at Wiesbaden. They couldn’t say if I was wanted beyond the end of this season and I didn’t feel good there.
“The time was right. For the last two years, I had it in my mind I wanted to play outside Germany. I didn’t like it at Wiesbaden, even though I played all of the time. Now, after signing the contract here, I feel so good. It is a new chance and a fresh start.”