Mullen set to take charge

Confidence, dominance, leadership, responsibility and maturity. These are all factors for Newcastle Knights five-eighth halfback Jarrod Mullen that he plans to implement into his game in 2011.

Some will say though that it is merely what he has said in the past. That, he will knuckle down, play consistent footy and attractive footy, yet it never materialises.

So you wonder what makes this year different? Well, for Knights coach Rick Stone, it was a change that he saw straight away in Mullen, and he was the first one to see it.

“It’s been over the last 12 to 18 months,” Stone said.

“He just started opening up more and was accepting advice and criticism better. He’s always been too harsh on himself as well but he’s become more accepting.

“And it’s fair to say he’s matured away from the game as well and really got his life in order off the field.

“It’s all added up.”

It was a private conversation at the end of last season between Mullen and Stone, whereby Mullen stated that he wants to be the dictator on the field, and command the halfback position.

“He wants to play halfback and be that dominant person on the field. Get his hands on the football as much as possible,” Stone said.

“But it’s more than that. He’s been involved on the coaching side of things with game plans and studying oppositions and providing feedback.”

Now that he is more confident to deal with the added pressure, Mullen is the one that wants to take charge, and show that he is a top halfback in the NRL.

“I want to be the one calling the shots,” he said

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