Mauk studying Vidal and Ramsey in bid to achieve European dream

Adelaide United midfielder Stefan Mauk studies the games of top-class midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Arturo Vidal to assist with his development in the A-League and hopefully help him realise his own dream of playing in Europe.

Mauk

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Asked by The World Game if there were any players he particularly watched to try to learn and borrow from, Mauk didn't hesitate in nominating Arsenal and Wales star Ramsey and Bayern Munich and Chile star Vidal.

"Both of those players play similar roles for their team to what I do," Mauk said. "They're top-class players who play for great teams, so whenever I can I watch them I do. If it's on in the middle of the night I'll record the game and watch it later and learn as much as I can from them.

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"They're both great box-to-box midfielders who can score goals and defend and they've kind of got everything in their game, which is, I guess, what I'm trying to be like.

"They're similar players in some ways, but with different attributes as well. Aaron Ramsey likes to get forward and it's very hard for defenders to track him when he makes runs from deep and that's something I've tried to keep adding to my game.

"I try to be that midfielder that breaks the lines and I think in Europe now there are not too many around like that, so if I could have a point of difference like that in my game it would be a great step for me in trying to get over there."

Mauk, 20, began this season with Melbourne City and in 12 games he scored four goals and had two assists. But then he was offered a switch to Adelaide as part of a player swap that was eventually agreed to and which saw central defender Osama Malik go the other way, to City.

"I knew Adelaide were interested and I'm at an age now where I need to be playing regular football and in the position that best suits me," he said. "I'd told City I wasn't going to re-sign for next season and they said if I wanted to go straight away they were open to that.

"They said if I thought Adelaide was the best move for me they could get someone in return, so it worked out well for both myself and City. I played quite a lot at City, but mostly on the left or right wing which isn't really where I want to play or where I think I play my best

"It's been a good move for me, to get more playing time in the midfield, and it's been quite an easy transition off the field. I'm from Adelaide originally and at the moment I'm back home living with my mum, sister and brother.

"I've come to Adelaide to hopefully win a title. I'm signed for two more seasons after this one, but if the opportunity came to go overseas I'd jump at it. I think that's what every young footballer wants to do, they want to go over there and test themselves and I'm no different.

"I'm not sure if anything will come up at the end of this season, but if it did I'd be very excited."

Mauk said Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor wanted him to make sure he was regularly involved in the play and always trying to make something happen.

"The way we play, with two attacking midfielders - myself and Marcelo Carrusca - it's probably my preferred position," he said. "That was the whole reason I thought I should make the move.

"The coach just wants me, as a midfielder, to control the game, so to get on the ball as much as possible and still work hard for the team when we don't have the ball, to try and win it back.

"When we do have the ball, I've got to try to play forward as much as possible, being creative, and get in the box and try to score as well, if I can."

Mauk has scored twice in seven games for Adelaide, taking his total for two teams this season to six goals, and registered one assist for his new team as well.

He will be a key player again when Adelaide, having dropped from first to third with last weekend's 1-0 loss to City, try to get back to first or at least second by beating Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night.

"It's another massive game," Mauk said. "It's so close at the top at the moment. We know the next couple of games are crucial  to where we finish on the table and we still have ambitions to finish top."


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5 min read
Published 17 March 2016 at 9:42pm
By Greg Prichard