Composure is key for Adelaide en route to their first ALW finals appearance

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As Adelaide United looks towards an inaugural finals appearance, midfielder Emily Condon is wary of her midfield brigade getting too far ahead of themselves. 

“We need to go back to the basics, we need to make more of our passes and just have that ability to be composed on the ball,” Condon said. 

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It’s this Reds’ midfield that has had plenty of changes from last season. 

Firstly, it was the introduction of Nanako Sasaki, a natural box-to-box midfielder who has had to adjust to a more defensive role this season at the Reds, something that she struggled with early, but was now excelling at according to Condon. 

“Having that player in the six role, which is probably one of the most important positions on the pitch, and Nano having the ability to hold up the ball when needed, and to keep the opposition under pressure when needed,” Condon said.

“She is just exactly what we needed, and she’s having a having a great season.” 

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Then it was the reintroduction of Australian international Dylan Holmes in week four, who head coach Adrian Stenta said added a new dynamic to the Reds’ midfield due to her quality on the ball and leadership attributes.

And finally the addition of experienced midfielder Emma Stanbury, who made the move from Canberra United.

But after the early turbulence, this Reds midfield has now become an integral cog in the their wheel towards the finals this season. 

“Our midfield is now clicking,” Condon said. 

“We aren’t just showing our ability, we are now getting the results as well. [Our midfield] are now playing really, really well.” 

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And it is not hard to get excited about this Reds side, as they boast the third best defence in the league, along with the second-best offence too.

But Condon is wary of letting those stats get in the way of their first ever crack at the A-League Women’s finals. 

”We haven’t been in finals before, and we know that it is going to be a completely new game for us,” Condon said. 

“So, we need to go back to the basics of maintaining possession of the ball, and with that we will make more successful passes and have a greater ability to be patient and be composed on the ball.

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“If we can do that, we will be a more confident midfield and be able to make clearer decisions.” 

It’s this composure, that will be critical for United as they look towards a deep push into finals and into the history books.

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta 

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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