Adelaide's Garuccio says Wanderers derby loss means nothing

Ben Garuccio is adamant the 4-0 loss by Western Sydney Wanderers to Sydney FC in round one means nothing when Adelaide United host the Tony Popovic-coached side on Friday.

Benjamin Garuccio

Benjamin Garuccio, right, made his Adelaide A-League debut against Newcastle in Round 1 Source: Getty Images

Garuccio's Adelaide side will take on the Wanderers in a grand final rematch at Coopers Stadium with both teams determined to notch their first win of the season.

The left-back told The World Game his experience playing in the Melbourne Derby from his time at Melbourne City taught him derby matches are in a world of their own. 

"Derbies are funny games," Garuccio said. "So I don't think Wanderers are going to be a walkover or anything like that for us this week. They'll definitely bounce back and it'll be a tough game.

"They're a great team, but similar to us they had a lot of turnover at the end of last season so they've got a lot of new players as well.

"It'll be an interesting game, both teams feeling their way a bit, but we're playing at home and we've looked at a few things from our own game in the first round and worked on that."

Adelaide drew 1-1 away against Newcastle Jets on Sunday.

The differences when it came to the line-ups of the Adelaide and Wanderers teams in round one to those which met in the grand final in May, when Adelaide won 3-1, was substantial.

Craig Goodwin, Bruce Kamau, Stefan Mauk, Bruce Djite and Pablo Sanchez are no longer at Adelaide, while Marcelo Carrusca, Michael Marrone and Jordan Elsey on the injured list.

Alberto, Andreu, Scott Jamieson, Romeo Castelen, Mark Bridge, Dario Vidosic and Liam Reddy have all left Wanderers, while captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley was suspended for the loss to the Sky Blues last Saturday.

Topor-Stanley was to return against Adelaide, but it emerged on Thursday that he is now set to leave the club and join Hatta Club in Dubai. Meanwhile, another Wanderers defender, Brendan Hamill, is out suspended after being sent off against Sydney FC.

Adelaide's recruitment for this season was made more difficult by the fact pre-season training had already begun by the time Mauk and Djite left, but Garuccio said that while there was concern from fans during that period the players just got on with their work.

He was among the new players at the club, returning to his home city.

"When you a win championship the players are obviously in high demand and it's quite normal to lose a few," he said.

"It's good for some young players who might get a chance, but the club still has to do a lot of recruiting and it can be hard to find the right players. But, in the end, the players they brought in are very good and will be very important for us.

"Our coach (Guillermo Amor) was very calm through all of that. He kept telling us the club was looking for players and that these things take time and that we as players had nothing to worry about. So we just kept training and that was our job.

"Guillermo has been very good to me and has given me confidence. He wants us to keep the ball and play football and be confident as individuals and show your personality and go out there and play with purpose, which is how I like it.

"He's the sort of coach who's always willing to put his arm around you and talk to you and give you a boost when he thinks you need one. We're professional athletes, but at the same time he can see if someone is a bit down.

"Different coaches have different ways of doing it and he communicates well with the players and keeps everyone happy, which is good."

Garuccio, 21, is close mates with fellow Adelaide product Mauk. They played both with and against each other as kids and were also teammates at City. Mauk returned to Adelaide midway through last season and is now with NEC in the Dutch Eredivisie.

They keep in close touch and Garuccio said it was also his dream to play in Europe.

"If I did end up in Europe I'd be thrilled and it would be a dream come true," he said. "But right now it's obviously about focusing on what I'm doing with Adelaide and I'm not looking past that.

"Everyone has goals, but right now I've got to concentrate on playing the best I can and try to make sure of my spot at Adelaide.

"When you see other young Australians, not just Stefan, get a contract in Europe you believe it's something you can aim at as well, but you can only hope to make that happen by playing consistently well in the A-League first."

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5 min read
Published 13 October 2016 at 10:58am
By Greg Prichard