How Adelaide boss helped Ryan Strain take his A-League chance

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Ryan Strain is taking nothing for granted as he enters the 2018/19 season with Adelaide United after a break-out season last year.

Strain, who hails from Coventry in central England, made waves last season as a right-back for United playing 16 games.

Strain’s Adelaide arrival proceeded a mixed spell in England where he featured  in Aston Villa’s youth set-up, an opportunity he looks back on with mixed emotions.

“I look back now and it was special but at the time I probably took it for granted a bit,” he said.

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“Now I look back and go ‘oh that’s pretty good’ but back then, I think when you’re there, I took it for granted a bit.”

The impact of Adelaide United Coach Marco Kurz has been particularly noticeable on Strain as he aims to make the most of this chance at United.

“I think he (Kurz) has had a big impact, obviously he gave me my chance in the A-League and now I’ve had a lot more experience going on from last year, he’s helped me a lot,” Strain said.

Strain is armed with a fantastic British accent as well as some football nous, with many tipping him to be one of the rising stars for this season.

It is here that the education from Aston Villa will serve him well, with the English youth set-up renowned for being highly competitive, which Strain acknowledges.

“Definitely you know, training with the best players at your age and play against the best players of your age, I was training five times a week and playing on the Saturday, it was a full-time job since I was 17 so it gave me plenty of experience for the first team at Adelaide United,” he said.

“When I played in the youth team at Villa, you had people coming from all around the world not just in England but people coming from places like Denmark as well, so you’re always on your toes trying to keep your position over there,” Strain said.

Nothing is being taken for granted at United, with Strain well aware of the significant competition at fullback including experienced duo Michael Marrone and Scott Galloway.

“Every training session you have to do well because everyone is trying to take everyone’s spots but that’s good though because it means everyone is firing in training which makes you play better and there’s a lot of good players in the squad,” he said.

“End of the day the coach has to pick only one player in each position so you really have to try to be the best.”

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Feature Image Credit: Samuel Lacey

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Adam Daunt
Adam Daunt
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

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