With Newcastle Knight Jarrod Mullen set to make a return from injury this Sunday, teammate Peter Mata’utia has revealed he idolised the Knights’ five-eighth when he was a youngster coming through the ranks of the Club’s junior development system.
“Jarrod is actually my idol and has been since I was 14,” he said on Monday.
When Mata’utia was 14-years-old, Mullen made his first grade debut in the red and blue at the tender age of 18. He too kicked off his first grade career after being a part of the Club’s junior development system.
“I was coming through the juniors and my Harold Matts coach Laurie Clifton brought him to training once and I just thought he was amazing,” Mata'utia said.
“I have looked up to him ever since and he has been such a great player for this club.”
The now 25-year-old said he remembers when he collected Mullen’s football memorabilia.
It was a dream come true for Mata’utia when he made his own debut for the Club in 2011 and was able to play alongside the Singleton born half.
“It’s good to be back and to get to play with him again,” Mata'utia said.
“Mullo is like a player that when he is in the sheds and he is there getting ready with you, you know you are going to be alright and he has your back no matter what."
All the young Knights will definitely take something out of that if he plays this week.
“Personally it will be good to have him back, but for the team, especially for that right edge,” Mata’utia said.
“That extra spark in attack and his kicking game. I think he has the best kicking games in the comp when he’s on.
“We definitely missed that last week. I think we had three seven tackles in row in that last 20 minutes against Canberra.
“Having Mullo back hopefully his kicking game and attacking flair will help us get the two points against Melbourne.”
The Newcastle Knights take on the Melbourne Storm on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Kids come free to the game. Buy your ticket today.