Mauk excited to be back

Stefan Mauk’s offseason was perhaps busier than most after getting married, but the midfielder admitted he has still had enough down time to recharge ahead of the new campaign.

Mauk’s initial wedding date had to be postponed due to newly imposed COVID-19 restrictions.

However, the 25-year-old is thankful his wedding went ahead as planned a week later and in hindsight before the state’s seven-day lockdown.

“It was really good (the wedding),” Mauk said prior to day two of pre-season.

“It was a perfect day and we had to push it back because of the first restrictions that came in.

“So we’re really grateful that we got to get it in before this new lockdown happened.”

The offseason has seen the departures of three first-team regulars in Ryan Strain (Maccabi Haifa), Jordan Elsey (Newcastle Jets) and Tomi Juric (Macarthur FC), as well as four young fringe players.

Adelaide has recently re-signed Michael Jakobsen, Craig Goodwin, Javi López and Juande, in addition to promoting Jonny Yull and Alexandar Popović to scholarship deals.

The Captain was confident the Club will find adequate replacements to improve the team, suggesting reinforcements are on the way.

“It’s disappointing to lose players within the league,” he said.

“You want be a Club where people come to and want to stay and build their career on.

“But that’s part of football. It was great to see Ryan Strain get a move away and that’s something the Club is really big on – is helping South Australians reach their potential and giving them that platform to get overseas.

“It was awesome to see him do well.

“And for the replacements I know speaking to the coaching staff and with Vito (Basile) coming in they’re working really hard to find some players.

“I’m sure the fans will be excited by the announcements to come.”

United was one game away from reaching the A-League Grand Final last season, with Mauk having spent part of the break reflecting on the campaign as a whole.

He felt finding consistency will be extremely important, if the team is to evolve.

“I think our best was really good,” Mauk believed, who scored 7 goals during 2020/21.

“And we showed against Sydney and against Melbourne City, who were the two best teams consistently, we can beat them when we’re playing our best.

“Our best was great but I don’t think we were consistent enough and that showed throughout the season.

“So it gives us a lot of positives going into this year. We’ve got a lot of young players which should all get better.

“We’re a young team and I think that should make all fans really excited what we can produce this season.”