5 reasons Adelaide will win the title according to Travis Dodd

Adelaide United great Travis Dodd is convinced this is the year his old club will finally breakthrough to claim their first A-League championship.

Adelaide United

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Dodd, who won the Premiers' Plate in 2005-2006 and lost grand finals in 2006-07 and 2008-09 with the Reds, told The World Game why he believes his former side will come out on top.

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1. Home advantage

Adelaide have the first week of the final series off and then a home-ground advantage through to the Grand Final, if they make it.

"Playing at home, and particularly at Coopers (Stadium) in their first game, that's huge for the players and the coach," Dodd said.

"To be able to play such a big game where they've played all season, to have those familiar surroundings, is a big advantage.

The grand final would be at Adelaide Oval if the Reds qualified, but Dodd said that would still be much better for the home side than the visitors.

"The atmosphere is different because it's a cricket and AFL oval, so there's a gap between a football pitch and the crowd, but with hopefully 50,000 people at the game that would make up for it.”

2. Camaraderie

Whether Adelaide are tighter than other teams is hard to say, but there is no doubt they are a very close-knit group.

"It's difficult to get an environment that good at a club,” Dodd said. “I've been at clubs where we were all great mates and it makes a difference to the way you play when it gets tough and you push each other to keep working.

"The great thing Adelaide have got at the moment is that friendship, that closeness on the park, and that makes it possible for them to come together as a genuine team."

3. Confidence

From last in round eight, Adelaide have since won 14 games with four draws and one loss.

"There's enormous confidence within the club at the moment," Dodd said. "The leading players are all in form. They do not have to rely on any one or two players, it's a well-rounded performance by the whole team."

4. Defence

Adelaide have the best defence in the competition having conceded just 28 goals. Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory are joint-next best, conceding 33 apiece.

Also, with Eugene Galekovic in goal, the Reds hold the highest amount of clean sheets this season with 12.

"Defensively, they're a very solid unit," Dodd said. "They've won four of their last five away games without conceding a goal and the other was a 0-0 draw. The mindset there at the moment is that they're not going to be broken down."

"They say defence wins championships and the players in front of Eugene all chip in defensively to make his job easier," Dodd said. "But, of course, he is called on to make important saves and some of those have been great, fingertip saves.

5. The coach

Guillermo Amor, who only took over as coach before the start of the season because of Josep Gombau's sudden departure to take a different career path, has done a phenomenal job.

"All coaches are different and you can see the difference in personality between Gombau and Amor for a start," Dodd said. "Gombau is an extrovert, he was animated on the sideline, and Amor is the complete opposite.

"There have been subtle changes in the way Adelaide play under him, but one of the best things about Amor is the fact he's always very supportive of the players. He never publicly criticised them during the hard times at the beginning and maybe the team is repaying that support now.”


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4 min read
Published 13 April 2016 at 11:21am
By Greg Prichard