ADELAIDE UNITED 2011/12 Season Preview

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More departures and arrivals than Heathrow, Adelaide United will be using the customary hand shakes before kick off to get to know each other this season with so many new faces in the squad.

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The men who play in the city of churches may need some divine intervention if they are to finally get their hands on the holy grail in season seven…

Last Season…
3rd. It sounds very respectable but in truth the whopping 15 point gap between them and first placed Brisbane meant that in reality they finished second in the competition of also-rans. Crashed out of the finals series at home to Gold Coast United.
They’ll Win The League Because…
In Rini Coolen they have a fantastic coach who brings a lot to the table in terms of professionalism and tactical nous. Whilst football is not short on coaches who have guided premiership-quality squads to mid-table mediocrity or worse, you get the feeling that Coolen is a premiership winning coach who just needs a squad of players capable of helping him achieve it.

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Bruce Djite rejoins the club where he really made a name for himself, and if he can recapture some of that old form he can be one of the top strikers in the league on his day. That van Dijk bloke aint too shabby either…
They’ll Be Cellar Dwellers Because…
They’ve lost the services of Travis Dodd, Matthew Leckie and star Marcos Flores in one off-season. Whilst Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC have gone all out to bring Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton home respectively, United went for Dario Vidosic to be their star man…
Talk Around The Watercooler… Look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information
It’s one thing for a club to sign players who have played at international level before, but clubs really take pride when players they have developed get the call up to represent their countries on the international stage. Adelaide United have a number of former players who have gone on to grace the international stage and eight who earned their first cap whilst playing for the Reds.
The Extended Off-Season Brought…

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…a newly installed revolving door at Hindmarsh Stadium. Eleven players left the club over the winter break, with twelve new faces coming in to replace them. United fans can be excused for having the match day program handy for the first few games of the season to refer to the squad list for names.
Key player…
Eugene Galekovic. With so many new faces amongst the squad needing time to gel, and minus the attacking threats of Leckie, Dodd and Flores, the key man for United this season could well be the man who turns those tight games into points with crucial saves. You get the feeling Adelaide wont be the top scorers in the league this season so clean sheets will be at a premium for the reds.
One to watch…
Daniel Mullen. It sounds strange to say fans should keep an eye out for a player who is already a full international, but that really is the case for Mullen at United. The right-sided defender, a full Socceroo, having earned a cap against Kuwait in 2009, becoming the first player to wear a three-digit number for the national team due to the AFC’s farcical squad numbering policy. Having fallen behind Iain Fyfe and Robert Cornthwaite in the central defensive role, Mullen has found first team opportunities hard to come by in recent times, but there surely is more to come from a 21 year old full international with 39 first team appearances under his belt.
Full squad list:
Eugene GALEKOVIC (vc), Osama MALIK, Nigel BOOGARD, Jon McKAIN ©, Daniel MULLEN, CASSIO, Zenon CARAVELLA, Evgeniy LEVCHENKO, Sergio van DIJK, Dario VIDOSIC, Bruce DJITE, Antony GOLEC, Ricardo DA SILVA, Cameron WATSON, Spase DILEVSKI, Iain RAMSAY, Fabian BARBIERO, Mark BIRIGHITTI, Francisco USUCAR, Milan SUSAK, Andwele SLORY

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