Every team needs a Stefan Mauk: Antagonistic, aggressive and game changing

The attacking midfielder is making a name for himself in a way not everyone likes

When Fox Sports commentator John Kosmina remarked about Stefan Mauk getting a reputation for causing controversy, it wasn't said in a negative way.

The former Adelaide United manager was much similar himself as a player and coach, and he probably understands more than most the role of a football antagonist.

Mauk's 27 minute cameo for Brisbane Roar against former club Adelaide is almost worthy of a feature completely on its own.

The 23-year-old caused absolute havoc for the Reds defence from when he entered the field on 64 minutes and it was only 180 seconds that his unsettling presence no doubt helped contribute to Henrique's goal to pull the score back to 2-1.

Mauk sparked Regan's heated reaction by barging into his side following the Adelaide defender's foul on Dylan Wenzel-Halls.

While he would definitely deny trying to provoke Regan, who had already been yellow carded, it's likely Mauk is just as intelligent upstairs as he is on the pitch.

Mauk's own sending off in the 91st minute was a rush of blood that was reckless - not deliberate - with his commitment to winning the ball too over zealous.

Just to top off the Mauk-induced soap opera, his concussion a split-second after the tackle helped start an aggressive exchange between coaches John Aloisi and Marco Kurz.

And once he learned of his red card while having his head knock attended to by doctors, his anger and subsquent lashing out at the tunnel was compelling vision.

This isn't the first time the Mauk wrecking ball has been involved in a heated confrontation with a former team - with the first notable incident happening in 2016 while playing for Adelaide against Melbourne City.

Mauk was grabbed on the throat by then City assistant coach Joey Didulica as the players headed to the sheds after getting involved in an argument with Isaias and Bruno Fornaroli.

Some of his actions on the field can almost be classed as white-line-fever, and the Adelaide-born midfielder certainly doesn't shy away from his aggressive style.

In a tweet after last weekend's incident, Mauk admitted to playing on the edge but explained it was just how he played the game.

"I always play with a lot of emotion as that is what makes me the player I am," Mauk tweeted.

"I want to win every game and will do whatever I can to always help the team win."

Some of the A-League's greatest and most entertaining players have played on edge and been constantly antagonistic.

Players such as Kevin Muscat, Besart Berisha, Brendon Santalab, Joel Griffiths and Mitch Nichols were guilty of getting too close to the line and often crossing it.

The league is better off for having so called 'villians' in the league as it adds an extra layer to the product.

Who could deny getting excited when Berisha started to get frustrated and run around like a madman during his time at Roar and Victory?

Mauk fits into a similar category as the aforementioned players - and his upcoming matches against Adelaide and Melbourne City should be pencilled into your diary.

The disappointment regarding Mauk is that he is plying his trade in Australia - there is no doubt he has the talent to be a success overseas and break into the Socceroos squad but is yet to show enough consistency to get to that level.

But while he is in the A-League we should enjoy his antics, because if he wasn't playing in last weekend's game, the headline simply would have been 'Ben Halloran brace haunts his former club Brisbane'.

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