As they dispersed from their huddle post-game, the crowd gave Adelaide United a rousing send-off following their 1-0 win. For the first time ever this was a team of which they could be proud.

The players stayed back well after the game had ended, walking up and down the sidelines to ensure no fan was left wanting an autograph or selfie or chat about the season that was. Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir and Fanndis Fridriksdóttir, the Icelandic duo which had been exceptional all season, were greeted by fans proudly waving Icelandic flag, there was a real sense of camaraderie between everyone and a feeling like the fans were finally behind the club.

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It hadn’t just started today though, as much as Adelaide United spoke of implementing high standards for this team it had also equally focused on creating a team atmosphere which had inspired their impressive season, according to Ivan Karlović.

“The girls that have come in have all bought in extremely well, their attitude towards the club, towards the players, the respect they’ve shown.

“It is quite easy when you come from a high level you come here and just go through the motions and they haven’t, I had some of them in tears last week and that shows you how much it meant to them, they feel a part of the club, a part of the playing group.

“I know that the girls based here have felt the exact same way and that’s why the team has been quite united, and they have been immense, their leadership has been phenomenal, they all bring different things to the table and we’d love to have them back next year,” he said.

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To understand just why Karlović was enthused by the team’s efforts this year despite ultimately falling short of finals, it is important to understand where this team has come from to get here. United suffered through most of its short history in the W-League as the perennial cellar-dweller which did little more than offer an easy three points, even managing to record the W-League’s longest losing streak at 34 games.

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While revolutionised is maybe too bold, this is a different club from the one which fans watched in those earlier years. They play an enthralling counter-attacking which is based off their speed all over the park and utilising the vast passing range of Amber Brooks and Laura Johns. It doesn’t always come off but when it does, United are one of the most watchable teams in the league and it has provided United with their record points tally of 18.

“I think if anyone said Adelaide United would finish with 18 points, they would have been laughed at, we didn’t we believed, I know externally there might not have been much belief, but I think we’re starting to make people take notice of where we are going,” he said.

“I would feel like we have some unfinished business here,” he said.

 

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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