A guest post by Art Eftekhari
Justice Duerksen was a member of Orange County Football Club in its inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League in 2017 and recently we caught up with the talented midfielder about his current spell in the Oberliga in Germany with SV Merseburg 99.
Art Eftekhari: How does it feel to be living in Germany?
Justice Duerksen: Living in Germany is awesome. It's amazing to see and feel the history both on and off the soccer field. I'm living right in the middle of downtown in the city of Halle, which is super cool.
Art Eftekhari: What are you enjoying most right now about Germany?
Justice Duerksen: It has been super rad to just meet new people and see a new culture. I've met some really cool people on my team and also doing a lot of exploring on the weekends. Munich was awesome, and going to Berlin and seeing the Berlin Wall that divided a country was incredible.
Art Eftekhari: You had a great season with OCFC in the NPSL, what did you learn from head coach Paul Caligiuri?
Justice Duerksen: Coach Paul gave me a lot of great personal advice as a player. Being the legendary player that he is, he was able to help my personal game so much, teaching me many little skills to improve on. But the biggest thing that I gained from Paul is the confidence he instilled in me. He is a great motivator and a very positive leader. Paul definitely has an attitude of believing and achieving, and that stuck with me.
Art Eftekhari: From what I understand, there were some difficulties with acquiring a work permit. Do you expect to play after the winter break?
Justice Duerksen: I actually just got my work permit, so I am eligible to play come January! I am very excited!
Art Eftekhari: What is the goal for SV Merseburg 99?
Justice Duerksen: The goal for Merseburg was to try to move up to the fourth division but with a not so great first couple of months of the season, it looks like Merseburg will be hoping for a middle of the table finish.
Art Eftekhari: What do you think of the competition in the fifth tier of German football?
Justice Duerksen: I would say it is pretty similar to the NPSL, but a different style.
Art Eftekhari: What was your favorite moment last season with OCFC?
Justice Duerksen: My favorite moment was definitely the play-off game in the heat of Arizona. I remember they had a really good crowd, and it was so hot that our jerseys were soaked during warm-ups. It was a fun road trip to the game as well and it was great getting to know the players, coaches, and owner Nader Dejbakhsh. It was super fun to win there and the celebration after was awesome!
Art Eftekhari: How did playing in the NPSL help your skills and development?
Justice Duerksen: It gave me more games to improve my skills and showcase my abilities. Playing constant games is very important as a player, and the United States soccer system has many off-seasons. So I am very thankful that Nader Dejbakhsh and the NPSL gave me an opportunity to play and stay sharp.
Art Eftekhari: I really appreciate your time Justice. Best of luck to you and when you score your first goal in Germany can we expect to see a shout out celebration to OCFC?
Justice Duerksen: For sure! Thank you Art! God bless you and Merry Christmas!