Jets recruit Mateo Poljak says he is enjoying the lifestyle Newcastle has to offer and he can’t wait to get on the pitch and show the locals what he can do.
The 2014 AFC Asian Champions League winner said he is embracing the laidback Newcastle lifestyle after making the move from Western Sydney Wanderers for the start of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season.
“I moved into my apartment not long ago and I’m settled in and ready to go,” Poljak said.
“I like it [Newcastle] a lot. It’s much smaller than Sydney but that’s something I like as I like more quiet places.
“It’s easier to get around and the lifestyle is much better. It’s more relaxing, and I’m definitely enjoying it.”
The Croatian midfielder says he has always lived in big cities and that the change of pace Newcastle offers suits him well.
“I’ve been a big city boy all my life, even when I was growing up in Croatia,” he said.
“But now I have an apartment close to Newcastle beach, and I like to explore the area around there.
“I like to go for walks along the beach and there’s plenty of small cafes around there where I can get a coffee … it’s really nice.”
Even though the 25-year-old lives within walking distance to one of Hunter’s most iconic beaches, the former Dinamo Zagreb youth product says it’s unlikely you will see strolling towards the surf.
“I’ve never tried it (surfing) to be honest, I’m more of city boy and I’d rather watch from the side,” Poljak laughed.
“Even when I lived in Croatia I was nowhere near the coast.
“I’m excited to see people out there though because I really admire them.”
While Poljak is enjoying seeing the sights and embracing the Newcastle way of life, he says his main focus is working with the team to get ready for the fast approaching Hyundai A-League season.
“Training has been very good and the boys are hungry,” the midfielder added.
“Everybody’s waiting for the first game, but before that we’ve got a couple of friendly games to play.
“But we’re still taking those games very seriously and we want to do our best and win those games.
“It’s important at this point for the team to starting building that winning mentality before the season kicks off.”
Speaking on a more personal level, Poljak says he feels that there were plenty of positives to take away from the Jets’ Westfield FFA Cup match against Perth.
“I think our performance was good and we put in a lot of effort in training for that game,” he explained.
“It was my first competitive game for the club and the team was still pretty new.
“I think we played better than them and since then we’ve grown a lot as a team and we’ll be even better this season.”