Where are they now: The inaugural FFA Cup champions 

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Let’s take a look back at the inaugural 2014 Adelaide United FFA Cup winning side to see where they are now…

Josep Gombau (Coach) 

The man that took Adelaide to a place no-one had before him, Gombau was the first coach to bring that elusive piece of silverware to the Reds that they so desperately desired. 

After arriving to Adelaide in July 2013, Gombau made an instant impression by signing Barcelona youth products in Sergio Cirio and Isaías – who both just happened to become club legends and will appear later on in this list. 

Gombau departed the Reds with two years remaining on his contract to move to New York and work on a youth development project. 

But since then, Gombau has been here, there and everywhere. 

He briefly returned to Australia as the head coach of Western Sydney Wanderers before moving to India and coaching Odisha FC in the Indian Super league. 

But since 2020, Gombau resides in New York City as the manager of David Villa’s USL Championship club, Queensboro FC – a side that will make its professional debut in 2023 as an expansion team.  

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Eugene Galekovic (GK) 

The Reds’ favourite son, Eugene Galekovic is steeped in United folklore forever. 

Galekovic holds the record for the most Adelaide United appearances with 285 first-team matches between 2007 and 2017. Eugene was finally rewarded for his hard work by winning the FFA Cup in 2014 and finally catching that elusive A-League Men championship in 2016. 

Galekovic departed the Reds in 2017 to join Melbourne City, but he couldn’t stay away from his beloved Adelaide United for too long. 

Following the conclusion of his contract with Melbourne City in 2019, Galekovic returned to Adelaide United to begin a role as the club’s goalkeeping coach – a position he’s still in currently.  

Michael Marrone (RB) 

The South Aussie boy in Michael Marrone saw the world before he came back home to play for his hometown Reds. 

Marrone played for Melbourne Heart for three seasons, before a brief stint in Shanghai – which saw him return back home to Adelaide. 

Marrone hung up the boots for Adelaide last year after 193 appearances for the club across two separate spells, becoming a club legend and winning everything he could’ve – including three FFA Cups and the 2016 championship. 

Now Marrone finds himself mastering his craft in the NPL South Australia, playing for Sturt Lions FC, and he is still out there scoring worldies (see below).  

Dylan McGowan (CB) 

McGowan was another South Aussie boy who represented his hometown club and had major success during this stint in Adelaide. 

At the tender age of 23 during his FFA Cup success, McGowan was just at the start of his career – and since then he has been around. 

McGowan has had stints in Portugal, South Korea, Denmark, Australia again and now he finds himself in Scotland, playing for Kilmarnock F.C. in the Scottish Championship. 

Nigel Boogaard (CB) 

Boogaard is a classic A-League veteran who gave his all to Australian football and had a stellar career whilst he was at it. 

His Australian football tenure included 51 appearances for Central Coast Mariners, 98 appearances for Adelaide United and 122 appearances for his hometown side Newcastle Jets.  

Boogaard hung up the professional boots in 2021 and now plays for Charlestown Azzurri FC – a side in the National Premier Leagues Northern NSW. 

Boogaard has also made his intentions clear regarding a move towards coaching, stating his plans to “give back to the game in some way.” 

Tarek Elrich (LB) 

Another ALM legend, Tarek Elrich had a tremendous career at Western Sydney Wanderers, Newcastle Jets and of course with Adelaide United. 

Elrich now finds himself fully emersed within the A-Leagues media world as an expert analyst for Paramount Plus and 10 Football. 

He also still plays football for New South Wales National Premier Leagues side Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC. 

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James Jeggo (RM) 

The Young Footballer of the Year for the 2014–15 A-League Men season, Jimmy Jeggo was all the hype during his two years in Adelaide. 

Jeggo was a star, and his talent was undeniable as after two years he was picked up by Austrian side SK Sturm Graz.  

Since then, Jeggo has played for fellow Austrian side FK Austria Wien and in Greece for Aris Thessaloniki F.C. 

Jimmy now finds himself playing in the Belgian First Division A for K.A.S Eupen (which is short for the mouthful of Königliche Allgemeine Sportvereinigung Eupen). 

Isaías (CM) 

The man for all occasions, Isaías is part of an illustrious few in Adelaide United folklore. 

After making his 200th appearance for the Reds just last weekend, Isaías is still at the top of his game and is one of the first names picked every week for United. 

Isaías recently rejoined Adelaide at the start of the 2021 season, signing a three-year contract – keeping the United legend at his new home for a long time to come. 

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Marcelo Carrusca (LM) 

Carrusca was another member of the stars that Adelaide had during their glory days, but Carrusca left United in his past and moved on to Melbourne City in 2017. 

Carrusca’s footballing journey didn’t last much longer once he joined City, as he only made 19 appearances across three years for City, Western Sydney Wanderers and West Adelaide. 

Currently, Carrusca is focusing on a career in coaching, and he now runs his own academy in Adelaide for children and young players called the Carrusca Football Academy.  

Awer Mabil (RW) 

A fan favourite, the young Awer Mabil lit up Coopers Stadium during his three years at the club as a teenager. 

Mabil was electric down the wing and his raw potential was undeniable, and it was no surprise that a European club picked him up. 

Mabil departed Adelaide in 2015 to join FC Midtjylland in the Danish Superliga, and he is still on their books despite being loaned out to three different sides in the last five years. 

Still at such a young age of 26, Mabil has a huge career ahead of him and is becoming a regular in the Socceroos side. 

Bruce Djite (CF) 

Bruce Djite bleeds Adelaide United red, and it is no surprise that he was the club’s top goalscorer with 44 goals in all competitions from his two spells in Adelaide from 2006 to 2008 and 2011 to 2016 before Craig Goodwin recently snatched that record away. 

After his retirement from football, Djite returned to his beloved club of Adelaide, taking up the role of Director of Football. 

But his tenure was short-lived, as he was lured out of his management role at the Reds and became CEO of the Committee for Adelaide – a business that “brings together some of South Australia’s most influential organisations to drive policy development for the city’s future.” 

You will also see Djite’s face on Channel 10 and Paramount Plus as a guest expert analyst. 

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Sergio Cirio (LW) 

Another member of Josep Gombau’s master signings, Cirio enjoyed a fruitful career at Adelaide. 

Over four seasons, Cirio netted 20 goals and added seven assists to his name, before he eventually returned to his home country of Spain. 

Since his departure, Cirio spent four years at UD Ibiza, a side playing in the Segunda División in Spain. 

Apart from that, there is no new information on Cirio and his current whereabouts, but if he’s still living in Ibiza – who can blame him? 

Feature image credit: Adelaide United

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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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