Brisbane Roar midfielder Stefan Mauk says he’s been impressed with the intensity shown by his side on the training pitch as the Roar gear up for an FFA Cup Round of 32 clash with Sydney FC.
The side has been working hard on the training track for a month now, racking up 18 goals and keeping three clean sheets in pre-season victories over Redlands United, Brisbane City and Football Central Queensland Select in the process.
The 23-year-old says he’s thoroughly enjoying being back out on the pitch as he prepares for his second season in orange.
“It’s been really good, we’ve been working very hard, we've had a couple of games & we’re only going to get stronger,” Mauk said.
“The week in Gladstone was probably the hardest so far but everyone seems to have got through quite well.
“We’ve got a lot of new players for one, a new coach obviously as well, so it’s important to get our structures and learn to play with different players.”
The midfielder added he’s enjoying working under new Head Coach Robbie Fowler, along with a raft of new teammates.
“He’s been really good, he’s an experienced player and it think that’s come into his coaching methods now,” Mauk said.
“You don’t play at the top level unless you know a lot about the game, and with him being the coach, he can relay that information onto us.
“He wants us to get back to being the Brisbane Roar of past seasons - a side that’s extremely competitive and a good ball possession team.
“Brisbane’s always a hard place to come. That means utilising the heat, keeping the ball and making the other teams run.”
The Roar takes on Sydney FC in the FFA Cup Round of 32 next Wednesday in their first competitive clash of the 2019/20 season.
Mauk says the side will relish the opportunity to test themselves against the defending Hyundai A-League Champions.
“They’ve been very good Sydney FC, they’ve probably been the best team in the competition for the last three seasons,” Mauk added.
"We're focusing on ourselves though & on the field everyone’s fighting which will put us in good stead for the season."
FFA Cup Round of 32: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Wednesday, 7 August (7:30pm KO)