Stefan Mauk believes there is still plenty of reason for optimism heading into the new A-League 2020/21 season for Adelaide United.
The dynamic midfielder spoke to the media following the Reds’ first official pre-season training session at Coopers Stadium on Friday.
Mauk said the team showed great improvement while away in the bubble under Carl Veart, who has since been permanently appointed as Head Coach.
“Obviously we finished the season really well, it was disappointing not to make finals,” he told reporters, as the Reds trained in their new away kits.
“So we finished the hub on a positive note and we went away in the break and now coming back Carl has been appointed as the coach.
“It’s an exciting time and we really want to build on the momentum we created at the end of last season.”
Reds great and former captain, Ross Aloisi, was also named as Veart’s Assistant Coach earlier in the week and the 24-year-old praised his arrival.
Mauk had worked with Aloisi during their time together at Brisbane Roar.
“He’s a good guy,” he explained.
“I had him up in Brisbane for a little bit, he’s a really positive guy.
“I think he’s a great addition to the coaching staff, he’s obviously a local SA icon I guess you could say being a (former) captain of the club.
“So it’s exciting to see, you’ve got your whole coaching team that’s ex-Adelaide United players, a lot of the players are Adelaide-based players.
“So it’s a positive for everyone in South Australia to support the Club.”
Fresh to absolute death 💀 pic.twitter.com/f3IQ0Z33lj
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) October 9, 2020
Aloisi joins Veart, Goalkeeping Coach Eugene Galekovic and Director of Football, Bruce Djite, as former Reds now back at the Club.
Mauk stated it was fantastic to see Adelaide’s strategy and philosophy in effect and urged fans to support the Club, particularly with the local flavour on display.
“I guess it’s exciting, for myself being a local SA boy I think I grew up watching Carl play, watching Ross play, watching these guys play here as a kid,”
“And now to be coached by them everyone in South Australia should’ve the mentality that this is a South Australian club, we want to bring back South Australian players.
“Everyone involved in the club is mainly a South Australian and there should be no reason why everyone in South Australia isn’t supporting the team.
“It’s pretty much a no brainer I think and that’s something the Club has obviously worked on and they’ve obviously now executed it and brought in everyone.
“So it should be a good season and good for everyone in the town to get behind us.”
Mauk was a midseason signing during the 2019/20 campaign and said he is hoping to build on his strong form while in the bubble.
“I enjoyed it at the end of last season, the position I was playing with Carl and the way I finished, I was quite happy with and I really want to build on that personally,” he continued.
“Now we’ve got a good eleven weeks to work on for myself certain areas with my game I want to work on going into the new season.”
Danish centre-back Michael Jakobsen re-signed with United on Wednesday and Mauk lauded the experience he brings.
“I think he’s a great figure for the younger players to look up to,” he said.
“He’s a good player and obviously got into the PFA Team of the Season and he’s a good player and a good guy to have around the change rooms.
“With all the departures it was good to keep Jako (Jakobsen).”