Whilst it feels like he has been in the NRL for years, Mullen, who is only 23, he has already played 100 first grade games and represented NSW, and he was defiant in his negotiations with the club as he felt they had to lift their game.
Knights coach Rick Stone has placed great trust in Mullen, as he’s been given a greater leadership role within the club, as well as being told to garner as much information from Knights captain Kurt Gidley as possible.
”I’ll learn a lot from Kurt,” Mullen said. ”The players look up to him and I see him as one of those never-say-die type players who always puts in a 100 per cent effort for himself and the team. There’s a lot to ask and to learn.Â
”People say to look at Joey, and I really did when I played with him. One of the great things I gained from watching Andrew Johns was see the importance of composure; he never allowed for anything to fluster him. And that’s vital at halfback or five-eighth because players in that position are always being looked at to pull something out of the fire.”
Mullen’s primary decison behind re-signing with the Knights was that he believes that the club are very close to having a break-out year, and creating an era for the Knights club that players, officials and fans alike will cherish forever.
”I love where the club is heading. I think we showed in the last eight or 10 weeks of last season where the club is headed – we could be a force in the competition. We’ve signed a lot of good young players on the way up and also a couple of old heads like Neville Costigan and Steve Southern. It’s looking great.”
Mullen, who is primarily a five-eighth will most likely be shifted to halfback as the plan is to get his hands on the ball more often, as his hunger for a second NSW berth only grows stronger, after his shock 2007 NSW cap.
”I wasn’t really ready for it then, but I’ll be wanting to put my hand up for it,” says Mullen.
Stone, is keen and intrigued to see just how Mullen will deal with the added pressure of being a leader and taking more responsibility within the club.
”Jarrod realises he has to take some of the pressure off Kurt and he’ll need to do that to be a senior player,” says Stone