After a decade of disappointment Adelaide United are showing no signs of slowing down after a promising 2016/17 campaign.


Last Season:

W-League: 6th

They’ll win the league because…
Good things happen to good people. Adelaide United have been working hard behind the scenes to build a competitive team and it may finally have happened.

The signings of South Australians Emma Checker and Jenna McCormick are shrewd acquisitions that will reinforce a leaky defence, while young talent in Alex Chidiac and Grace Abbey will continue to help the club put their best foot forward.

The resigning of Adriana Jones is another huge coup for the club, as she provides that quality upfront that was absent for so many seasons.

With this considered, the framework that has been unsighted in previous years is definitely there, it just remains to be seen if Adelaide can pull the parts together and make it work.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…
It is what United do best. The Reds have never featured in a finals series with three wins their most ever in a campaign.

Regardless of whether it is due to something internal or external W-League campaigns tend to fall apart for the side in the City of Churches.

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That being said, this is arguably the strongest core unit Adelaide has ever had, with a shored defence, a hardworking midfield and high-scoring forward brigade.

There really is no particular reason that these women should not be competing for the title. But for a side full of inexperience and so starved of success, perhaps Adelaide may struggle to deal with expectation, a factor they have never really had to face.

Talk around the watercooler… Look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.
United hold the longest winless streak for a side in the W-League. Horrifyingly, they went 34 matches without tasting victory from November 2008 until December 2011.

This streak is 15 matches longer than any other making it all the more remarkable (in a bad way).

The side also went 12 matches without a victory last season (January 2016 – January 2017), before they put that streak away with that tremendous 10-2 victory over WSW.

This offseason brought…
Defence. Coach Ivan Karlovic has put considerable resource into recruiting two key centre-backs with overseas experience in Checker and McCormick.

When these two link up with promising full-backs Grace Abbey and Georgia Campagnale, the Reds will have an entirely home-grown defence with a youthful edge.

The chemistry this brings will be vital in strengthening the one component that has really been letting Adelaide down in recent seasons.

However just nine players have been formally announced, therefore expect plenty of squad news to filter out in the coming days.

Key player…
Adriana Jones – Jones was one player United hastily offered a new contract to and with good reason.

The lightning-quick striker was prolific last season with nine goals, three of which coming in an emphatic performance against the Western Sydney Wanderers; which they won 10-2.

With the 21-year-old continuing to grow in her ability, Adelaide will look for her to find the net freely and really spearhead the front line of a very youthful outfit. 

One to watch…
Alex Chidiac – While she may be just 18 years of age, Chidiac is shaping as a crucial member of this squad.

Chidiac had a breakout 2016/17 W-League season where she was inundated with accolades, including the Adelaide United Rising Star Award, as well as the PFA Young Women’s Player of the Year gong.

Soon after, she found herself in the Matildas’ selection frame and was recently selected in the squad for the victorious Tournament of Nations side.

With four international caps to her name, the midfielder really has the chance to establish herself as a young star of the game by leading the Reds to their maiden finals appearance.

Provisional squad list…

Eliza CAMPBELL (GK), Emily HODGSON, Emily CONDON, Emma CHECKER, Alex CHIDIAC, Grace ABBEY, Georgia CAMPAGNALE, Adriana JONES, Jenna MCCORMICK.

 

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Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.