He made his maiden Hyundai A-League appearance against Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium in 2014, but it’s at Hunter Stadium for Newcastle Jets that young, powerfully built defender Themba Muata-Marlow now hopes to make his name in the competition.Muata-Marlow, 21, has linked with the Jets on a two-season professional contract after a successful trial period with the club towards the tail of the club’s 2014-15 campaign.
The former Sydney FC youth product commenced training with his new teammates on Monday, however on Wednesday told local media that he’s excited by the prospect of learning off and competing alongside experienced defenders such as Nigel Boogaard and Daniel Mullen.
“As it stands at the back it’s me, Nigel [Boogaard] and Daniel [Mullen],” Muata-Marlow said. “They are the three centre backs at the moment, but you don’t know who they are going to bring in later down the track.”
“Hopefully I can provide as much competition for them older boys as possible and push for a starting spot.”
“They [Boogaard & Mullen] are both great guys as well, so I should be able to have a great relationship with them, work with them very well and learn a lot,” he said.
While Jets fans may know little of Muata-Marlow at the moment, the ambitious defender with Jamaican heritage told the Hunter’s press that supporters can expect him to be strong and aggressive in his approach while on the pitch for Newcastle.
Muata-Marlow added that despite his commanding build, he views himself as a modern defender.
“I like to think that I am decent on the ball, and not someone who just punts the ball up field as a classic centreback might.”
“I am all right on the ball and I have played right back before. Earlier on in my development I played a little bit of holding midfield as well,” he said.
Muata-Marlow believes he feels he’s adjusting well to life at the Jets.
“Everyone is more of a family here and it’s really nice. The boys have been really welcoming.”