They handed him his Hyundai A-League debut and now Stefan Mauk wants to repay Melbourne City by helping them claim a maiden Championship.
REPAYING THE FAITH
The combative midfielder has re-joined his former club on a one-year loan deal from Dutch second division side N.E.C.
“They’re the ones that gave me a chance out of the AIS and gave me the opportunity to show myself on the stage here in Australia,” said Mauk shortly after his arrival from the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers in Myanmar, where he played alongside team-mates Ruon Tongyik, Daniel Arzani and Bruce Kamau.
“Melbourne Heart and then Melbourne City have given me all the tools to get me to this point in my career.
“I’m forever grateful for those opportunities and looking to give something back to the club now,” he said.
HOLLAND’S HARD LESSONS
Mauk signed for Melbourne Heart as a 16-year old and played 34 times across three-and-a-half years before a mid-season move to Adelaide United in January 2016.
He lifted the A-League championship with the Reds before securing a move to the Netherlands.
“I had every high expectations going over there and it was a bit of an anti-climax with the amount of game time I had,” he admitted.
“But I think it’s a lesson every footballer needs to learn; going through the tough stages of not playing and learning how to deal with it.
“I think I’ve matured a lot.
“It’s going to hold me in good stead for this season; the things I’ve learnt that worked for me and didn’t work for me that I can hopefully put into place for this upcoming A-League season.”
EYES ON THE PRIZE
The 21-year old is the fourth new addition to the City roster with Eugene Galekovic, Scott Jamieson and Iacopo La Rocca also coming on board.
And Mauk is adamant the mix is right to challenge for the Hyundai A-League championship.
“Ever since they’ve arrived, the City Group have been all about winning,” he said.
“They’re developing the culture and building all the facilities to give us the best possible chance.
“The squad they’re building is going to be really hard to beat hopefully.
“Winning as a team is going to help everyone with their individual accolades and their future endeavours.
“I’m not worried about the future – I’m just worried about the here and now and doing as well as I can for Melbourne City,” he declared.