Diverse mix makes for exciting season ahead
SEASON 13 — lucky for some, maybe not so for others. What is the fate of Adelaide United? The general consensus is the Reds will be challenging for glory six months from now. My Fox Sports companion, Mark Bosnich, has even tipped them for the premiership.
I won’t go quite that far but I do think finals are on the radar. Why? Because they have recruited well. Why not the premiership? Because all clubs have recruited well.
If one thing really stands out for me about the season ahead, it’s the diverse range of players that will be on display. South Americans, Spaniards, Dutch, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, German, Algerian, Danish, Greek, Italian and even a good, old-fashioned Brit in Ross McCormack at Melbourne City.
It’s a real potpourri of football cultures and when you throw in a lot of quality Aussie guys, we’ve got plenty to look forward to.
It reminds me of growing up in Adelaide, especially the Polish players. All the old-timers reading this will remember the great internationals Polonia (now Croydon Kings) brought out in the 1960s and 70s. They and the imports at the other clubs added so much quality to the local game and were instrumental in teaching a lot of players the nuances of the game.
But back to United — on paper they have a very balanced squad. Much more so than last season although I will say I feel they lack a bit of depth across the back.
Provided they can stay fit, the Reds will be contenders.
They kick off with a tough road trip to Wellington for this afternoon’s game, then a short turnaround for Brisbane on Friday. It is important to get something out of today’s match — even a point, and it’s a good time to get the Roar after a lacklustre performance in Melbourne on Friday night and injuries to key players.
The trip across the Tasman is better to get out of the road now. On pre-season form Adelaide has to be favourite.
The premiership is Sydney FC’s to lose and the grand final, given the abundance of quality across all squads, may just be won this season by a team from outside the top two.
To matters more pressing — the Socceroos and World Cup qualification.
Not going to Russia would cost the game in Australia $12 million — a very expensive failure to say the least. And that doesn’t consider what has been invested to date, so a win against Syria on Tuesday night is imperative to keep our hopes alive. I don’t care if we win pretty or fight an ugly, dour battle as long as we win.