Hartlepool United summer signing Gus Mafuta wanting to prove there is more to his game than being physical

Gus Mafuta was brought to Hartlepool United to add some much needed steel to the midfield, but he’s bringing a lot more than that.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 7:10 am
Gus Mafuta of Hartlepool United in action with Scott Duxbury of AFC Fylde during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and AFC Fylde at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 13th August 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The 24-year-old has been ever present in the middle for Craig Hignett’s side so far this season following his summer arrival from Salford City.

He has arguably been one of Pools’ most consistent performers over the opening nine matches so far.

Upon his arrival, Poolies remembered Mafuta for his physical display for The Ammies at Victoria Park in the final game of last season. But the combative midfielder wants to show a different side to his game than just ‘being a bruiser’.

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With one goal and only one booking to his name so far, Mafuta has gone some way to doing that has he’s proven to be a creative influence as well as a physical one.

“I do get it a lot and it is what it is but I know and the gaffer [Craig Hignett] knows that I am a good footballer without sounding too big headed,” Mafuta admitted.

“I know the physical side of the game is important and it’s something the team missed last year.

“I’ve been brought in to bring that side to it along with the other side as well because I think you’ve got to be able to do both sides to play in this team.”

After leaving the north-east in 2017, the former Gateshead man was limited to just 30 appearances for Salford over two seasons as injuries restricted his game time.

“It feels great to be playing,” Mafuta smiled.

“I’ve been unfortunate with injuries the last two seasons so it’s really important for me to have a good season in terms of appearances but I’ll only get those appearances if I perform on the pitch.

“I’m enjoying it so far and it’s nice to be playing every minute so far in every game and I’ll look to continue to do that.

“The crowd have been really good and warmed to me which I can only thank them for. I will just look to continue to repay them with performances on the pitch.”