Maher Won’t Tone It Down In 2020

Dec 09, 2019 by

Returning Brisbane Strikers fullback Chris Maher has no intention of toning down is fiery on-field demeanour in 2020.

A Brisbane Strikers youth product, the 28-year-old Maher was lured back to Perry Park by Owen Baker for the 2019 campaign after two seasons away from the club.

He promptly re-established himself as a fan favourite with his ultra-competitive, no-nonsense approach to the game – a style epitomised by his toe-to-toe stand-off with Wellington Phoenix players in the club’s FFA Cup Round of 32 win.

With over 100 competitive matches for the club under his belt in his two stints with the club, Maher said he had no hesitation in recommitting for another year in yellow and blue.

“I really enjoyed the season just gone and it was a no-brainer to stay with Strikers,” Maher said.

“We had a slow start to the year but it ended up being a really good season. We have a good bunch of lads here and coaches that have really brought us a long way and I want to be part of that again.”

“I know what the standards and the expectations are at a club like Strikers. That made it easier to come back and also to now continue on and really be part of building something.”

Originally from Kingaroy, Maher first came to Brisbane Strikers as a teenager and his formative experiences at the club continue to frame his approach to this day as one of the team’s leadership group.

“It wasn’t that long ago that I was one of the younger players at this club and I know it is important to set the standards for the younger players now I am in a more senior role in the team,” Maher said.

“As a club, Brisbane Strikers has high standards but also really fosters an environment that helps the younger players meet those challenges and I want to help these boys through so they can really enjoy their senior football here.”

Age Will Not Weary Him

For those around the club, Maher’s reputation as one of football’s nice guys off the field is well-established.

However, it’s an attribute that stands in stark contrast to his on-field disposition that runs the gamut from intense to combative.

Maher explained that his rough-and-tumble style has been a trait of his football for as long as he can remember and is borne of his desire to win every contest he can on the field.

“I’ve always been extremely competitive – it’s really a ‘white line fever’ thing,” Maher explained.

“I always want to win, so when I get out there and I just switch into football mode and that’s just my style of play.”

“I want to ensure everyone is doing the right thing, staying honest and working hard. If they are not doing that then I let them know about it.”

“There are particular times I’ve been told to tone it down a bit in certain game situations, but I’ve never been told to not be who I am in my time at Strikers.”

“I think the coaching staff love to see the passion in their players and I think the Strikers fans sitting in the stands like to see players fight for the shirt.”

“I think they even get a bit of a laugh out of it and I guess I do too sometimes,” he concluded.

Coach Cites Consistency and Experience

For Brisbane Strikers Head Coach Owen Baker, Maher’s retention for the 2020 season is another crucial piece of the puzzle as he seeks to continually evolve a team that has already showed it can match it with the best clubs in the country.

He cited Maher’s work rate and drive as exceptional assets to the team in the dressing room, at training and in the heat of game day.

“I’m ecstatic Chris Maher has recommitted to our club for another year,” Baker said.

“He has had so many outstanding performances for our club over the years and I believe in 2019 he was one of our most consistent players.”

“He is willing to do whatever is needed for the team. He sets high standards and holds others to those standards too.”

“His experience is also very helpful for the younger players in the team.”

“I expect Chris to help improve our defence in 2020, while still playing a vital role in how we switch the ball and attack on the right hand side.”

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