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Season Preview 2014/15: Adelaide United

Last season saw Josep Gombau begin his Spanish Revolution, and Adelaide United began to reap the rewards in the latter half of the season. But Gombau was operating on two levels, and with all the media hype surrounding the style that Gombau was implementing, his strong emphasis on youth development was overlooked. This season, however, will bring to light Gombau’s development of young players, with an extremely young Reds’ squad taking shape.

Recruitment

Adelaide’s squad last season was hard to fault. Solid in the midfield, eventually strong in defence, and lethal in attack; it was simply the gelling together of the entire squad that seemed to be lacking. However, a couple of players left the squad in the off season, and so Gombau’s recruitment needed class.

Jimmy Jeggo comes in from Melbourne Victory with a decent amount of experience for a central midfielder. He has played in six games in pre-season and scored once, and seems to fit into Gombau’s plans nicely. Expect to see more of the youngster than previously at Melbourne. Dylan McGowan has close to 90 first team appearances in the Scottish Premier League, as well as 19 appearances in the A-League for the now defunct Gold Coast United. The 23 year old has looked comfortable in the centre of defence in pre-season, and looks to be a mainstay.

Pablo Sanchez comes in for the now-departed Jeronimo Neumann, and has looked just as sharp as his predecessor, with a keen eye for goal. With Isaias and Cirio around him, Sanchez should slot in nicely as the third Spainard in the squad. Mark Ochieng, Bruce Kamau, Dylan Smith and Craig Goodwin complete the pre-season transfers for Adelaide United — all of whom are under 23 years of age, and have shown in pre-season that they can contribute in the upcoming season.

Where they’re Strongest

You cannot mention Adelaide United without referring to their club stalwart and captain in goals – Eugene Galekovic. He is arguably the best goalkeeper in the league, and with a solid defence ahead of him, Adelaide will surge to the top of the A-League standings with his guidance and leadership from the back.

Where they are Lacking

In attack, Bruce Djite has never been a consistent goal scorer. As a poacher, he has scored 12 goals for Adelaide over the past four years, but he certainly isn’t a potent goal-scorer. Jeronimo Neumann was Adelaide’s joint leading scorer last season with 9 goals, but he has since departed to the Newcastle Jets in the off-season. This leaves wingers Ferreira (9 goals) and Cirio (8 goals), with Djite trailing with just the 5 goals last season. If injury finds either Ferreira or Cirio, Adelaide may have trouble finding the back of the net.

Prediction

Expect a more consistent season from the Reds, and justifiably a top four finish. It’s not impossible for them to take out the Premiers Plate, especially if the likes of Cassio, Malik and Mabil all peak at the right time for the Reds. Elrich, McGowan and Carrusca will also be key players this season, particularly if Adelaide are to step up and challenge for silverware.

Pre-Season Results

Adelaide United 1-0 Perth Glory — Boogaard 72′

Adelaide United 1-5 Malaga — Djite 58′

Alice Springs All Stars 0-10 Adelaide United — Kamau x2, Djite, Mabil, Jeggo, Cirio, Elsey, Ochieng, Sanchez, D.Smith

Adelaide United 1-0 Melbourne City — Cirio 3′

NT All Stars 0-6 Adelaide United — Djite x2, Carrusca, Jeggo, Ochieng, D.Smith

Adelaide United 1-1 Perth Glory — Cirio 32′

Adelaide United 0-1 Melbourne Victory

Adelaide United 2-0 Melbourne City — Mabil 33′, Goodwin 45′

Adelaide United 1-1 Adelaide City — Carrusca 8′

About the author

avatarJames is a devout Melbourne Victory fan and a UQ Journalism student, writing for Ultimate A-League.

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