Known for his versatility and adaptability, Michael Marrone admits he does not have a preference where he plays as long as he is contributing to the team.
Marrone is the consummate professional and has been one of Adelaide United’s most consistent performers throughout his time at the Club.
The 32-year-old believes the key to his versatility is also his availability, highlighting the fact that he has, for the most part, managed to stay free from injury and always an option for any head coach.
“I think in my career apart from two major injuries, I’ve always been pretty fit,” he explained.
“I haven’t really missed too many sessions, and I think when that’s the case you’re always fit and you’re always going to be there or thereabouts even if you’re not in the first 11, you’re always going to be pushing.
“So it’s good that I’ve managed to stay injury free.”
Naturally a right-back, Marrone is also more than capable of featuring as a centre-back, as demonstrated by his 11 appearances in the heart of the defence last season.
The defender switched to the centre-half role in Round 20 following a foot injury to Jordan Elsey in what was a seamless transition.
“I think in the back end of last year, I don’t know why but I felt like there was less pressure when I was playing there,” Marrone explained, about why he seemed so comfortable there.
“I felt that because it wasn’t my first position and I hadn’t played there in a while I felt like there wasn’t any pressure on me.
“I just played and I was playing on instinct and it worked well. We picked up some results and I was happy with how I was playing and I’ve just tried to keep that going this year and tried to get back to basics and just play football.”
Now working under Gertjan Verbeek during the current pre-season, Marrone has also appeared as a central defender in the first two trial matches, before switching to right-back in the second-half against Raiders, with Elsey returning from a minor niggle.
The former Melbourne Heart man said he has enjoyed learning the Dutchman’s playing style and the team has fully embraced it.
“I guess it’s a whole new philosophy and everyone’s getting on board,” he said.
“Big changes across the board but week by week we’re just working on how we play out, how we defend, how we attack, and it’s refreshing learning another way to play.”
Marrone was confident they could implement some of Verbeek’s new ideas in their first competitive hit-out of 2019/20, against Melbourne Knights in the FFA Cup Round of 32.
“We’ve got the cup game next week and we’ll try and put everything together for that game,” he said.
“But I’m sure in the coming months because it’s such a long pre-season we’re going to just learn more and more.
“We’re doing a lot video sessions and that helps a lot because it’ll tell you where you’re supposed to go, or what he wants you to do in a situation and just reinforcing those things in video sessions really helps.”
Marrone was confident his side could advance to the last 16 against a Knights outfit that will be motivated to cause an upset.
“When you play state league clubs they’re going to be fired up because it’s an all-in game,” he continued.
“The advantage for them is that they’re in season and they’ve been playing together for quite a while.
“But I think also on the flip side, we’re not a new team, we’ve got a few additions, but most of our team has remained the same and we’re all learning the same process together.
“So we’ll be fine and we’ve played a couple of games now so we’ve got some minutes in the legs and I’m sure it’ll help with all the preparation necessary to be successful.
“It doesn’t really come down to one thing, it’s doing everything right and taking the game very serious and getting the result.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.