Adelaide United W-League 2020/21 season preview

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Throughout their time in the W-League, Adelaide United have never finished higher than sixth. After reviving the club’s leadership group, could this season be the circuit breaker? 

Last season
A-League: 9th
Finals: Missed

They’ll win the league because…

Adrian Stenta arriving at the club will give United fans something to get excited about this year as they look to improve on last season’s result. His first big move at the club was appointing young star midfielder, Dylan Holmes, the captaincy.

Along with a vibrant new captain, the Lady Reds have re-signed last season’s leading goalscorer, Mallory Weber, lured across talented goalkeeper, Sian Fryer-McLaren, and added former Salisbury Inter prospect, Meleri Mullan. With a new era on the horizon and nothing to lose, the young side could be a dangerous outfit this season. 

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

As the old saying goes, history often repeats itself. Considering the amazing footballers that have come out of South Australia, it is surprising that the Lady Reds have never made a W-League finals series.

Since they have an updated line-up and a first-year manager, United may face some teething problems while the club adapts to the new changes. 

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

Unfortunately for Adelaide, all seven of the club’s previous managers have had a losing record during their spell. Stenta is striving to become the first when he takes the reins this season. 

The off-season brought…

New life. After years of disappointment, the Lady Reds have decided to rearrange the front office and start fresh with a new captain and coach. Despite the front office facing significant changes, United only lost Sarah Willacy (Western Sydney Wanderers) over the off-season and are intent on building chemistry within the current playing group.

The club’s two new signings (Mullan and Fryer-McLaren) will also be welcome additions to this season’s squad. 

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Key player

Mallory Weber. The American sharpshooter scored on four occasions during her first spell with the club and was eventually named the Lady Reds’ player of the season.

At 26 years of age, Weber is in her prime and will once again be a catalyst in Adelaide’s final third. 

One to watch

Dylan Holmes. This season will be a coming of age for the young star as she becomes the club’s new captain at 23.

With an extremely young side following her lead, Holmes could be in line to become a Matilda over the summer if she can continue her individual form and guide Adelaide to their maiden final series. 

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INS: Mallory Weber (on loan from Utah Royals FC), Meleri Mullan (Salisbury Inter), Sian Fryer-McLaren (Salisbury Inter), Annalee Grove (Canberra United)

OUTS: Sarah Willacy

Full squad list

Head Coach: Adrian Stenta

Goalkeepers: Sian Fryer-McLaren, Annalee Grove, Evelyn Goldsmith

Defenders: Emily Hodgson, Tahlia Hogg, Georgia Campagnale, Charlotte Grant, Laura Johns, Matilda McNamara

Midfielders: Dylan Holmes, Emily Condon, Chelsie Dawber, Victoria Mansueto, Ciara Fowler 

Forwards: Mallory Weber, Meleri Mullan, Isabel Hodgson, Ella Tonkin

Feature image credit: Adelaide United

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Amir Daou
Amir Daou
Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity and Bachelor of Media and Communications student at Flinders University. Writing intern covering the latest in Adelaide United news and matches. Sport is my passion and I'm excited to learn more about the industry during my time with The Football Sack.

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