New recruit Stefan Mauk says a gruelling pre-season has him in career-best shape just four days out from the start of a new campaign.
The Roar returned from the off-season break well in advance of rival clubs and the new addition says that’s sure to pay dividends as the campaign progresses.
“We were the first team to come back for pre-season and the program we’ve been put through is second to none,” Mauk said.
“I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and that’s the same for quite a few of the boys. We can’t wait to get out there on Sunday.”
One of a number of fresh faces this season, Mauk signed a long-term contract at BRFC back in May and has been in sparkling form throughout pre-season.
Should he line up against the Mariners this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium (4pm KO), it will be the former Olyroo first appearance at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane orange.
However, he’s no stranger to performing in one of the Hyundai A-League’s most intimidating venues.
“I scored every time I played at Suncorp Stadium last year so if I can do that again this season I’ll be doing pretty well,” he continued.
“I remember making my first few appearances years ago and it’s a pretty intimidating place to play when the Roar get on top. It’s a tough place to come & we want to have that advantage over teams at home.”
It was the Roar’s notoriously attacking style of play, as well as the chance to work again with Head Coach John Aloisi that enticed Mauk’s move to the Roar.
Mauk says his new Head Coach is intent on taking the 23-year-old’s attacking game to the next level.
“It’s going to be an attacking brand of football, which suits me, and was one of the reasons I made the move to Brisbane,” Mauk continued.
“The biggest thing [to focus on] was working on scoring more goals – that’s something we’ve worked on over pre-season – getting into good positions and becoming a complete player.
“Training is training though and now it’s time for me to leave my mark in games.”
A number of fresh faces are set to run out for the Mariners this weekend, including potent attacker Ross McCormack, who played alongside Mauk at Melbourne City last campaign.
Mauk says the Roar will have to be wary of the threat his former teammate provides, especially from set pieces.
“He’s a dead-ball specialist and he has a great strike so we need to be quite tight on him and not give him the chance to shoot.”
Hyundai A-League Round 1: Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sunday, 21 October (4pm KO)