Dom has featured in a couple of previous programmes, displaying his tattoos in our ‘Inked’ piece and also answering questions submitted by you in a Q&A, but we wanted to sit down with him to find out more about his time in Austria prior to moving to South Yorkshire.
He comes from a good footballing family, one of three siblings who play at a high level of the game, as he explains.
“I played football with my sister and brother – my sister is very good; she plays for the national team in Austria. The main thing was to play football every day; we have a football field near to our home and, after school, we’d go directly there to play.
“My sister, Jessica, plays for the under 19s and is captain at SK Sturm Graz but, in Austria, there’s only three or four good clubs: FC Bergheim play in the Champions League, SK Sturm Graz and Austria Wien. These are the main clubs.
“My brother plays for Kapfenberger – they’re in the second league in Austria, but he’s in the second team now because he’s only 16.”
The love for football came from watching their father play on a weekend, not at a high, professional level – the equivalent of Sunday league, Friesy tells us, but he would kick his ball around at the side of the pitch as he learnt his trade.
But, after joining his local team, Sturm Graz, as a 15-year-old, Dom admits that he nearly dropped out of the game altogether having not had as much playing time as he would have liked.
“My way was not so easy because, when I was 15, I played for Sturm Graz and, after one year, I didn’t play and I said to my father that I didn’t want to play football anymore,” he recalled. “He told me not to stop, just to play for fun. Then I went to the last league in Austria and, every year, went one step higher. There are nine leagues in Austria and I’ve scored in every league.
“For one or two years, I just played for fun and rediscovered my love for the game.”
Eventually, Dominik signed for TSV Hartberg, a city in the Styria state in south-east Austria and bordering Slovakia. At the time, they were struggling in the second tier and succumbed to relegation to the Regional Leagues.
However, Kapfenberger – a second league club – came calling for Friesy, where he found his goal scoring form, which prompted a move to Austrian Bundesliga side Wolfsberger AC in 2017.
He spent one season with WAC, playing alongside current Reds defender Michael Sollbauer and finishing a lowly ninth in the top flight. For context, there are 10 teams in the league.
But it was a decent campaign for Friesy, who scored twice on the penultimate day against LASK Linz, which prompted Valérien Ismaël to take him to the Waldstadion ahead of the 18/19 term.
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