Although Marcus Duncan is only 21 years old, his football resume is already quite impressive. He is a former Newcastle Jet & Central Coast Mariner Youth player, was a part of the Australian Schoolboys that toured the UK and has spent time playing the NPL Victoria. This season he’s found his way to Lambton Jaffas and is once again showcasing his strength and aerial supremacy at the back and proving to be a frustration for opposition attackers. Marcus caught up with correspondent Quentin, to discuss his great career so far and where it might lead to.
Where and when did you start your junior career and how did you progress into senior football?
I played all my junior football at my local club, South Cardiff. I eventually made my 1st Grade debut for the club while Steve Piggott was in charge, and he gave me a chance to play in the top grade which I’ll always be grateful for.
What teams have you played for and when?
After moving into senior football, I’ve played at a couple of clubs (as a few opposition players have reminded me of once or twice!) I spent time with both the Newcastle Jets & CCM Youth teams, had stints at Northcote City & Bentleigh Greens in Victoria, as well as playing here in Newcastle for Hamilton Olympic & now Lambton.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not playing football?
On the weekends, on the day I’m not playing, you’ll usually find me playing golf with my mates or watching them play for their respective NPL clubs.
What do you do for work?
I’m working for Lake Macquarie City Council at the moment as well as squeezing in some extra training on days off.
When did you start playing with the team you’re with now?
I joined Lambton at the start of this season after coming home from Melbourne. I thoroughly enjoy being at the club and playing with some familiar faces, as well at working with Jimmy Pascoe again.
What player has been one of your favourite players to play with and you have admiration for? Why?
Kyle Hodges without a doubt. After playing next to him last year at Olympic, we built a good relationship on and off the pitch. He was always so calm on the ball and he always stood up in the big games. He always lead the team with ultimate professionalism.
Which player is the hardest to play against and why?
There’s a couple! But I think Daniel McBreen is always a difficult one to contain. He’s smart on and off the ball, very good in the air and knows all the tricks of the trade.
You’re one of few players who have spent time in both the Jets & Mariners Youth systems, where does your allegiance lie?
Definitely with the Jets! I’m a born and bred Novacastrian, so it’s always been the Jets for me.
Spent time playing overseas as part of the Australian Schoolboys, what was that experience like?
It was unbelievable. To be able to pull on the Green and Gold is a special feeling at any level, and it was a very proud moment for me as well as for my family. I made some very good friends who live interstate and I only see once a year, but we always look back on the experiences we were lucky enough to have and wish we could go back.
You’ve been playing in both the NPL NNSW and NPL Victoria recently – do you feel at home now at Lambton or are you hoping to test yourself once again in Victoria?
I’m very happy at Lambton. The fire is still burning to play at the highest level, but I’m not looking to move on right now. If I’m fortunate enough to have something come up, I’ll obviously think about it, but I’m not chasing anything. My only focus is to play well for the club and make sure we bring success back to the Jaffas again in 2018.
Most memorable moment(s) of your career so far?
Scoring for Australia in a game vs Wales whilst with the Schoolboys. I somehow found myself standing over a free kick and managed to wrap it around the wall and into the bottom corner!
Most influential person in your career?
It’s very hard to single out just one! I’ve had a very supportive network of family and close friends, coaches and mentors. A special mention would have to go to my Uncle Brad, though, who has travelled the world to see me play as much as possible.
What are you hoping to achieve for this year’s season?
Trophies! We fell agonisingly short in the FFA Cup, but our full focus is now on the NPL and we hope to kick on after having a bit of a slow start to the second half of the season.