Tobias Warschewski: Early recognition “too much” – Canadian Premier League “often underestimated”

By FPL360
Tobias Warschewski: Early recognition “too much” – Canadian Premier League “often underestimated”


Exclusive interview 

Tobias Warschewski was once considered one of the brightest talents in German football. After a promising start to his career, the now 23-year-old became disillusioned with the soccer business and took a break from the game. Then in 2021, he joined Canadian Premier League side FC Edmonton, where away from Germany he has begun the process of resurrecting his career scoring four goals and nine assists in 26 games in what has been his first full season since the 2016/17 season with Preußen Münster.

In an exclusive interview with Transfermarkt, the former Germany U19 national team player talks about his difficult time in Germany, rediscovering his game in Canada, the development of the Canadian Premier League, and his future with FC Edmonton.

“I just had my meeting with the coach, and now with the season concluding I am getting ready to return to Germany [for the winter break],” Tobias Warschewski said to Transfermarkt. The 23-year-old uses his teammate’s phone to make the call as he has run out of credit on his telephone and with the trip back to Germany just around the corner Warschewski has opted not to load up new credits.

The conversation reveals a thoughtful and reflective player, who is open to speaking about challenges he faced early on in his career. “It was all so swift, and then it quickly became just about business,” Warschewski said when asked about the start of his career in Germany.

Warschewski about his early career: “It was just all about money” – “I made some mistakes”

Warschewski’s story starts at Preußen Münster, a historic club in Western Germany that was also a founding member of the Bundesliga. These days the club plays in the Regionalliga West (fourth division) but was in the 3. Liga (third division) when Warschewski played for the club.

First team debut in 2016
Warschewski’s in-depth career stats
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“I was pulled up into the first team very quickly,” Warschewski said. “I was a U19 player, and I played 20-30 games in the 3. Liga. Then very quickly came the callup to the national team, and right away, other teams were snooping around. All that recognition felt great, but in retrospect, it was probably too much. It was just all about money and not about having fun playing soccer; it became almost torturous.”

Warschewski indeed had an excellent start as a professional player at Münster. The center-forward played 46 games in the 3. Liga and scored five goals and four assists for the club. A metatarsal fracture in August 2017, however, was the beginning of the end in Münster.

“I have to admit, I made mistakes, like, for example, with that broken bone when I wasn’t professional about my rehab, that was my fault,” Warschewski said. “It meant I didn’t return the way I should have; at that point, I just didn’t enjoy it anymore, and I told the decision-makers in Münster that I needed a break.”

Warschewski comeback at Phönix Lübeck: “I arrived with 110kg” 

It was at that point that Warschewski stepped away from football. “But I quickly realized that I missed competitive football, and then I joined 1.FC Phönix Lübeck,” Warschewski said. The club had just been promoted to the Regionalliga Nord. “I arrived with 110 kg (230 pounds), but they gave me time to rebuild my fitness.”

A powerful striker, Tobias Warschewski started rebuilding his career at Phönix Lübeck - © Canadian Premier League

A powerful striker, Tobias Warschewski started rebuilding his career at Phönix Lübeck – © Canadian Premier League

At Phönix Lübeck, Warschewski cut down his weight. “I needed the time, and I was lucky that I had a teammate who helped me with training but also helped me change my diet and lose all my weight in a quick time,” Warschewski said.

“Then came the COVID break, and with the sporting director at Lübeck, it quickly became about the business again,” Warschewski said. Once again, Warschewski thought about quitting football altogether. “Perhaps it was time to try something new.”

But there were also positives, at Lübeck, Warschewski met Julian Ulbricht, who made the step to York United ahead of the season. “Julian wrote to me that Marcus [Olbrich from football agency DC International] wanted to get in touch and talk about Canada,” Warschewski said. “We had a chat on the phone about how it would work and why it would be important to leave for Canada.”

Warschewski transfer to Edmonton: “Very proud of the step I made”  

Among clubs in Germany, the striker had built a reputation of being a difficult character. “They all talk to each other internally, it was always the same, they all asked about my professionalism: ‘can you handle it with your attitude’—it was very frustrating,” Warschewski said about the conversations he had with some clubs in Germany.

Canada, therefore, became the chance for a complete change of scenery. But for Warschewski, it was a difficult decision. After an initial talk with Olbrich, Warschewski took three weeks to ponder whether he wanted to make the move to Canada.

Davies, David, Larin & Co.: The most valuable CanMNT players

25. Russell Teibert – Vancouver Whitecaps – €1 million

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24. Cristián Gutiérrez – Vancouver Whitecaps – €1 million

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23. Dayne St. Clair – Minnesota United – €1 million

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22. Liam Millar – FC Basel – €1 million

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21. Theo Corbeanu – Sheffield Wednesday – €1 million

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On loan from Wolverhampton

20. Kamal Miller – CF Montréal – €1.5 million

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19. Liam Fraser – Columbus Crew – €1.5 million

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18. Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty – Toronto FC – €1.5 million

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17. Milan Borjan – Crvena zvezda – €2 million

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16. Scott Arfield – Rangers – €2 million

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15. Maxime Crépeau – Vancouver Whitecaps – $2 million

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14. Jacob Shaffelburg – Toronto FC – €2 million

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13. Alistair Johnston – Nashville SC – €2.5 million

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12. Samuel Piette – Montreal Impact – €2.5 million

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11. Lucas Cavallini – Vancouver Whitecaps – €3 million

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10. Richie Laryea – Toronto FC – €3.5 million

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9. Jonathan Osorio – Toronto FC – €4 million

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8. Ike Ugbo – KRC Genk – €4.5 million

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7. Stephen Eustáquio – Paços de Ferreira – €5 million

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6. Mark-Anthony Kaye – Colorado Rapids – €5 million

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5. Ayo Akinola – Toronto FC – €5 million

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4. Tajon Buchanan – New England Revolution – €8.5 million

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3. Cyle Larin – Besiktas – €11.5 million

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2. Jonathan David – LOSC Lille – €35 million

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1. Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich – €70 million

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That meant that Warschewski did not have much choice in clubs once he moved across the Atlantic to Canada. “Edmonton was one of the last clubs with an international spot available,” Warschewski said. “But once I made the decision, it was very quick.”

“It was hard, the temperature, training indoors in the dome, and it wasn’t like I was an A-level student in English at school either.”

Once he arrived in Canada, head coach Alan Koch and the entire staff of the club did their best to integrate Warschewski. “It was hard, the temperature, training indoors in the dome, and it wasn’t like I was an A-level student in English at school either,” Warschewski said laughing. “But now, in retrospect, I am very proud of the step I made. Personally, it was a big step, and learning English is something nobody can take away from me now.”

Warschewski: “Nobody should underestimate the CPL” – Didic “a complete player” 

On the pitch, Warschewski believes that there is room to grow for him. “The season was okay, for me individually,” Warschewski said. “It wasn’t the best season for our team; I am still looking for my best position, I often played on the wing, but I think I am a bit better just behind a striker or even as a number 10. But next season, if I come back, I would like to score around ten goals and ten assists.”

Tobias Warschewski celebrates a goal with his FC Edmonton teammates - © Canadian Premier League

Tobias Warschewski celebrates a goal with his FC Edmonton teammates – © Canadian Premier League

Sure, it was not an easy start for Warschewski. But once he regained his fitness level became one of the better players in the league. The 23-year-old showed that he can play several positions and formed a strong partnership with Easton Ongaro, one of the league’s most prolific strikers.

It is, therefore, no surprise that FC Edmonton, who have an option to renew the contract, would like to keep the player and the striker is open towards staying in the league. But Warschewski has revealed to Transfermarkt that there also has been contact from 3. Liga clubs back in Germany, who have noticed his strong play in the CPL.

“Nobody should underestimate the league,” Warschewski said when asked about the level of play and the talent available. “I have teammates who could easily play in Germany. Just look at Amer Didic, two-footed, fast, he is a center-back I haven’t seen anywhere else, a complete player who could easily play in Germany.”

“There is so much potential throughout the league and it is a good place to grow as a footballer,” Warschewski said. “The league is still young, which means it is underestimated by many that just follow the top leagues around the world.”

The final question was about Warschewski’s new market value. The CPL will receive a market value update later in November. “I don’t even know what my current value is,” Warschewski said while laughing. “Perhaps it will go to around $150,000?” We will see whether Warschewski was right later this month.




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