Madeline Riley took time out with Jets defender Daniel Mullen on Tuesday to find out how he spent his off season, and uncover why he's buzzing to be back at training with teammates old and new.
Daniel Mullen certainly made excellent use of his well-earned time off, travelling with his cousin to explore several different parts of the world.
“I did quite a bit of travelling [in the off-season],” Mullen said. “I went to a few different countries. I went to Bali (Indonesia) for about a week and then I did a little Europe trip. I went over to Ibiza (Spain) for a couple of days, went to Prague (Czech Republic) for almost a week, jumped on the train and went to Berlin (Germany) for half a week and then visited family up in England. We went to London, went and saw Coldplay at Wembley and then saw family up in the North-East, in Middlesbrough.”
While Mullen travelled with his cousin Alex, a former Sydney FC player, for the majority of his break, he was able to catch up with some friends and fellow footballers during his trip.
“I actually met up with a good friend James Holland who is a Socceroo, he plays over in Germany at the moment. I went to Ibiza with him and had a good four, five days with him,” Mullen explained.
Mullen also managed to meet up with Jets teammate and fellow defender Jason Hoffman, who was on his honeymoon at the time.
“Me and ‘Hoffy’ [Jason Hoffman] are quite close,” he said. “I was texting him when I was about to leave for Europe and he said he was going to be headed to Prague on these dates and I was sort of undecided of where I was going to go. So I spoke to Alex and we agreed that we would go see Hoffy for two days in Prague. We did a bit of segwaying through the city and saw all the sights in Prague which was just beautiful.”
Amongst all the travelling and sightseeing, Mullen said the highlight of his trip was seeing Coldplay at Wembley
“It’s a band that I’ve always loved, same as my cousin Alex,” he said. “We were lucky enough to go see them at a sold out Wembley. I don’t know how much it holds, maybe 70 or 80 thousand. That was brilliant, definitely a highlight.”
Despite an excellent holiday Mullen is happy to be back in pre-season training with the Jets squad.
“To be honest, even when I was in Europe I was already looking forward to pre-season,” he said. “We’re two days down now, we’ve had two decent sessions, a few sore legs, but the group is really optimistic about this season and it’s exciting to be back.”
There have been some big changes over the break while Mullen was away, including the new ownership of the club and a few new additions to the squad, which are making for quite a different atmosphere at training.
“I feel we’ve still got the core group from last year and a few new signings and obviously we’ve still got a few more to make,” Mullen said. “So far it’s a big difference compared to this time last season in terms of numbers and quality. I’m excited about what the season’s going to bring.”
The new signings have already made an impression on Mullen who has praised the work ethic of the new players and is excited to see the impact they have on the club.
“First and foremost, the mentality that the new boys have shown has been excellent,” he said. “They’ve made a good impression.”
“I’ve been with ‘Browny’ [Wayne Brown] the last day and a half and the way he’s conducted himself has been first class.”
“Obviously ‘Hooley’ [Andrew Hoole] is one player that we all know because he’s been here before so we know what he can bring. The other faces are certainly going to bring a lot of quality and depth to the squad,” Mullen concluded.