Hartlepool United midfielder Gus Mafuta feeling confident ahead of new National League season
After achieving National League promotion with Salford City last season, summer signing Gus Mafuta is hoping to do the same with Hartlepool United in 2019-20.
The 24-year-old midfielder put in an impressive display in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Macclesfield Town as he played the full 90-minutes for the first time in pre-season.
The midfield competition in the squad is something that Mafuta will have to contend with this season with around half a dozen players all competing for the same two or three central spots in the starting XI.
Mafuta’s powerful approach and solid pre-season means he’s expected to retain his place in the starting line-up for Saturday’s season opener against a notoriously physical Sutton United side at the Super 6 Stadium (3pm kick-off).
“I like to play on the front foot but I also like to play with the ball on the floor as much as possible,” he said.
“That’s the way the gaffer wants to play and the players we’ve got in the team are more than capable of doing that.
“It’s important that you should be able to mix it as well because this league is a tough division and you’ve got to be able to do both sides.
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“If you get the mixture of the two then you’ve got a recipe for success.
“I’ll be the first to say I’m not a big fan of pre-season but it’s got to be done and there’s no hiding away from it. You’ve got to put the work in and build your base for the season.”
And with the new season fast approaching, Mafuta is hoping for another successful campaign.
“I’m very confident, [Salford] came here last year and it was a tough game against a very good team,” he told the club website.
“It’s where you want to be at the end of the day, come March, April, you’ve got to be mixing it in with the play-offs are going for the division and with the team we’ve got here are more than capable of doing that.
“There’s no time for talking now, we’ve just got to show everyone that we can go and do it.”