Humans of MUSC: Mitch Ralston

In the season-opener of 2024’s Humans of MUSC series, we speak with Mitch Ralston! Read on to find out more about his role(s) at the club, the *other* ball sport he twice played at state level… and if you’re not a big reader, scroll down to watch him score an epic volley!

Hi Mitch! Can you introduce yourself, please:

Hello, I’m Mitch, vice-captain of the Men’s State League 4 side and play left-back unless the team needs my services at left-wing. I also am the Social Media Chairperson at the club and have been involved in the socials for the past 4 years.

Thanks for all your contributions to the club! Why did you choose to play at the Melbourne University Soccer Club?

When I moved up from Ballarat I was struggling to commit to playing State 3 back home as it’s quite a long commute to kick the ball around, so my Dad did some research on clubs near the CBD and MUSC was the first suggestion! Filled out the EOI and went along to a Sunday league trial at Crawford Oval and by Thursday I was training with Marco’s team!

We’re so lucky Michael Owen has got the club website SEO down pat! What do you feel are the main benefits of playing at MUSC?

I believe MUSC is in a fortunate position where we can attract players who are outgoing and social but also have a competitive side to them. Seeing other State League sides have real aggression and almost hatred towards each other on the pitch, makes me very proud of the community and culture we create at MUSC.

Mitch (bottom row, second from right) with the team coached by Papi

That’s so lovely to hear! What about your current involvement in the soccer club?

Papi (Marco) always had an interest in what the boys were studying off the pitch and he knew I was studying Marketing. Therefore, he pestered me into getting involved with the social media team after I had my meniscus tear early on in pre-season. 
It was a blessing in disguise as I have thoroughly enjoyed working with people all over the club as volunteers trying to make MUSC grow. It’s also helped my career development in Marketing, now I know why Papi was so keen on getting me involved!!

Us at MUSC really do have a lot to thank Papi for! Speaking of… has there been a standout coach at MUSC? (and) the best player you have played alongside at MUSC?

I’ve fortunately only had two coaches whilst being at MUSC in Papi and Vince, so it would be rude to pick a favourite! In terms of players, it would be hard to go past Lars Hadler-Olsen who we only had for 11 rounds but he made a real impact, saving me every time a winger stepped past me on the left side of the pitch.

Has there been a favourite season at MUSC for you? And if so, why?

So far in my MUSC career, it’s been 2023 as we had a few weeks where we believed we could get promoted and knocking off Bundoora was a highlight of that. The players who were a part of that season were also great to play alongside and training was always a highlight of my week.

Mitch (back row, third from right) with the 2023 team

What has been your most memorable goal during your time at MUSC?

It’s hard to score many as a left-back however when I do it’s usually from a distance! My volley against Darebin United was my most memorable and hopefully we can attach it 🙂

Mitch’s top of the box volley!

That is an epic goal! How good to have it immortalised forever on video! Do you have any quirky matchday rituals that put you in good stead to score goals like that?

In my opinion, it’s not out of the ordinary however I am fixated on the same pre-match meals on gameday. Two pieces of toast with vegemite, two Carman’s nut bars and two bananas. 

A trio of twos…sounds quite balanced, to be honest. Besides sports, do you have any other hobbies or passions?

Unfortunately trying to balance my 9-5 with finishing my degree and socialising with friends + soccer in the mix of that it’s hard to find time for hobbies! I do enjoy going to live music whenever I can and my morning walks to get a coffee.

Mitch on the pitch

Sounds super busy! Last few questions for you then…what is your secret talent that no one knows about?

Even though I am no good at it anymore, when I was 13 years old I was in the state team for golf two years in a row. 

Whoa! Don’t most players retire from soccer and then play golf? Quite the feat to do the reverse! And finally, what are you most excited about for this season?

The Super-Saturdays at Prinny Park! Hopefully we can compete for promotion again and gather some crowds.

Captain Mitch!

Thanks for chatting with us, Mitch! Great to see the State 4 squad got their first home wins of the season this past Super Saturday! Good luck for the rest of the season!!

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