Last season saw Adelaide United collect the W-League wooden spoon after finishing last in 2017/18.  After strengthening in the off-season, Ivan Karlović will be hoping to lead his charges to a better result this time around.

Last season: 

W-League: 10th

Why they’ll win…

If Adelaide won the title this year, we would be approaching a fairy-tale not to far off to Leicester City or the Chicago Cubs and Hollywood would be looking to pick up the rights.

Ivan Karlović has a serious amount of firepower to unleash upon the league which, for a team who couldn’t buy a goal last year, is a very good thing. Michelle Heyman is the current all-time leading W-League scorer as well as two time golden-boot winner (2009, 2011/12) and former Julie Dolan Medal winner in the W-League and proven on the international stage bagging 20 goals for the Matildas. Heyman’s partnership with Fanndis Fridriksdóttir will prove vital to United’s chances with the Icelandic star renowned for scoring goals.

That should be just the tonic to boost a side who finished equal second-last for goals.

Or at least you’d hope so.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because….

Things that leak: taps, government agencies, Wikileaks and Adelaide United’s defence.

Last season, Adelaide United were more porous than a sponge when it came to leaking goals, conceding 27 goals, equal worst in the league. Alongside that bit of trivia, they were one of two teams to not keep a clean sheet last season.

Even the most causal football fan can understand: no clean sheets + most goals conceded + minimal goals scored = a very, very long season.

The addition of Amber Brooks from the Houston Dash, should help alongside continued growth of Emma Checker but Karlović will have to hit the whiteboard to try and figure out  a better defensive system, otherwise it could be another long season for the Reds.

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.

Adelaide United own one of the most unwanted records in football with the longest winless streak in the W-League.

The Reds went 34 games without a win, a feat which stretched over three years 15 November to 17 December 2011. The Reds don’t look like losing the mantle anytime soon, being a good 15 games clear of second place Newcastle (essentially a whole W-League season).

It also beats out the National Football League, English Premier League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and Big Bash for the longest winless streak.

Don’t say you didn’t learn anything from today.

Key player

Have I mentioned Michelle Heyman?

No?

Okay, let me go again. Heyman is an icon of the W-League, bags goals for fun when at full-fitness and possess an innate physicality that most W-League defences struggle to match-up against at the best of times.

The best part of Heyman’s game is her athleticism allows her to play as a target forward and hold up the ball or as a dynamic roaming forward able to chase loose balls. This versatility will prove key to United’s game-plan this season.

With one of the best haircuts in the league, Heyman will be hard to miss on-field.

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One to watch

Chelsie Dawber.

Dawber broke through early in the 2017/18 season and held her spot, managing to play nine games and become an embedded part of Ivan Karlović’s team.

The young star was drafted into the Young Matildas and will be aiming to add more on-field minutes this season after 141 minutes last time out.

Dawber has been praised for her poise on the ball and her composure under pressure which should see her feature more prominently this season.

In: Veronica Latsko (Houston Dash), Amber Brooks (Houston Dash), Fanndis Fridriksdòttir (Valur Reykjavik), Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir (Utah Royals), Michelle Heyman (Sydney FC), Kahlia Hogg (Western Sydney Wanderers).

Out: Eliza Campbell (Perth Glory), Jenna McCormick (Brisbane Roar), Alex Chidiac (Athlético Madrid), Makenzy Doniak (End of loan), Alyssa Mautz (End of loan),

Full Squad: 1. Sarah WILLACY, 22. Amber BROOKS, 6. Georgia CAMPAGNALE, 15. Emma CHECKER, 2. Emily HODGSON, 17. Kahlia HOGG, 16. Dylan HOLMES, 11. Laura JOHNS, 14. Grace ABBEY, 8. Emily CONDON, 10. Chelsie DAWBER, 5. Gunnhildur Yrsa JONSDOTTIR, 23. Michelle HEYMAN, 9. Fanndis FRIDRIKSDÒTTIR, Veronica LATSKO (No official squad number 21/10/18)

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A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster