Maric Calls Melton Home
Persistence by ex-Gisborne Coach Luke Saunders lured Mark Maric onto the football field four years ago. Aside from the occasional match during his school days, it was Maric’s first stint playing football after devoting his early years to basketball. He spent two years at Gisborne, before the appeal of playing with a few mates took him down the Calder Freeway to EDFL club Strathmore. His senior opportunities over two seasons there were limited, and when the Bloods called towards the end of 2015 he was open to the possibility of a fresh start.
Maric met with Senior Coach Brad Murphy, Assistant Coach Michael Licciardo and Football Operations Manager Brad Jamison prior to Christmas and immediately impressed the club. “Speaking with Mark, the first thing that stood out was the positive influence he’d have on our club both on and off the field”, Jamison noted. “He’s an imposing figure. And he’s got an excellent understanding of the game for someone who hasn’t played a lot of footy. There’s enormous upside there”.
Maric describes himself as an old fashioned ruckman who prides himself on giving his midfielders first use of the footy. Standing at over 200cm he’ll have a distinct height advantage over many ruckmen in the competition. Five weeks into the pre-season, he has been working hard to improve his fitness in preparation for the season ahead. “Physically it has been pretty tough, but the boys have made it much more enjoyable” he noted. Already he likes what he’s seen at his new club. “It’s a fairly young group, but has some amazing talent within it. Once we all learn how each other play, I think we will be a real force”.
Senior Coach Brad Murphy believes that Maric and Lachlan Sidebottom will form one of the best ruck combinations in the BFL this year. "Mark has come on board late last year and been a tremendous acquisition already. Hasn't missed a training session, and his match simulation ruck work has been very impressive. Along with Lachlan Sidebottom, I'm hopeful we will have the most dominant ruck combination in the league".
Away from MacPherson Park he has a City based job as a linesman, while also keeping himself busy as a Committee Member at the St Albans Saints Soccer Club, where he does everything from Council liaison to manning the bar.
On field in 2016 Maric has a couple of goals. “Personally I want to get fitter and win every contest I’m involved in during games. As a team our goal is to become a dominant midfield group”.
Bloods fans will be looking forward to seeing what he can do when Round 1 rolls around on April 16.