The 12-year-old player has headed to Europe to spend time working with coaches at Fulham’s youth academy at Motspur Park, London.
He got the chance to visit Fulham as part of his development with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy and after visiting Fulham coach Dave Wright saw him in action at last year’s RHFA national camps in Taupo.
Mirko (pictured) has been preparing over the New Zealand summer for his trip to the United Kingdom and he starts with Fulham on February 27.
Father Oliver Brinkmann says the visit will show Mirko what is needed to become a professional footballer.
“It’s a huge opportunity to train under the eye of professional team coaches and staff at the Fulham academy,” he said.
“We heard the pace can be intense but Mirko is very much looking forward to it.”
Mirko has attended various Ricki Herbert Football Academy events since 2014 and was selected for an elite academy team that visited Melbourne, Australia, in 2015.
Oliver Brinkmann said his son had particularly enjoyed the intensity and style of coaching at RHFA and being away from home, fully immersed with team mates and coaches, was a chance to understand how to live a “footballer life”.
“The RHFA has certainly set a benchmark for his development, both on and off the pitch. It was always fantastic to see that he was coached in all aspects of the game over a five-day course,” Oliver said.
“Every time Mirko attended a RHFA event it felt like he was part of a bespoke programme where developing the player is at the centre of their philosophy.
“Being invited to the camp attended by Fulham’s Dave Wright gave Mirko the opportunity to showcase his skills and to demonstrate he is willing to work hard on and off the pitch.”
Mirko is the first player invited to spend time with Fulham’s academy since the club established its links with the RHFA as part of its strategy of searching worldwide to identify players with potential.
Fulham play in the English Championship, the second highest tier of UK professional football, and are one of the country’s oldest clubs, having been formed in 1879. They have produced many full internationals.
Fulham’s home ground is Craven Cottage where RHFA founder Ricki Herbert made his debut as an international team coach, leading the All Whites onto the pitch to play Australia in 2005.
All White Simon Elliott – who represented New Zealand 69 times – was a Fulham player between 2006 and 2008. He went to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa with the undefeated Herbert-coached All Whites.
Read more about Mirko and Fulham FC: