In his final match for the Club ahead of his departure to J2 League outfit Fagiano Okayama, Adelaide United Captain Stefan Mauk got the ideal reception.
Adelaide’s late heroics helped secure a 2-1 comeback win over Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
Mauk led the team since the beginning of the 2020/21 season, becoming the 10th permanent skipper to do so.
The 26-year-old wore the armband with an immense sense of pride being a local Adelaide boy.
Mauk left the field to a standing ovation in the 84th minute and praised 16-year-old Nestory Irankunda for his amazing impact off the bench which produced a dramatic winner.
“Unbelievable,” he said to Network 10 in his farewell match, which coincided with the Club’s and A-Leagues inaugural Pride Games.
“Nestor (Nestory Irankunda) is a special talent – to do that almost last kick of the game… the celebrations, I couldn’t have wanted to go off in a better way.
“And obviously it was a massive game with the Pride Game, I think the fans turned out and they got exactly what they wanted.”
Mauk said returning to the Reds in January 2020 for his second stint before going on to the lead the team was an incredible experience.
“It’s really special of course,” he said.
“Coming back and captaining the Club and being a part of I guess the rebuild as such after COVID and the league, it’s really special and I’m glad to be leaving in winning ways.”
Mauk scored a combined 13 goals in 63 matches across two spells with Adelaide.