Dodd urges Adelaide fans not to hit the panic button

Former Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd said Reds fans shouldn't panic as they wait for more news from the A-League champions about player signings for next season.


Source: AAP

But Dodd conceded if Adelaide haven’t made a couple of significant signings by this time next month it may be time for concern.

The Reds will kick-off the defence of their premiership and championship crowns with an away game against Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, 9 October.

It was apparent very soon after Adelaide’s 3-1 grand final win over Western Sydney Wanderers that wingers Craig Goodwin and Bruce Kamau would be leaving to join other clubs and that bench striker Pablo Sanchez had been released.

That damage, while significant, didn’t look too bad when you consider how championship-winning clubs are always at risk of losing players when there is a salary cap in play, and other A-League clubs with room to move - or overseas clubs with no salary cap to worry about – go after them.

Adelaide have made some signings, but the more recent losses of midfielder Stefan Mauk and striker Bruce Djite punched a bigger hole in the playing squad.

The challenge that confronts the Reds was clear when they lost an FFA Cup round of 32 game to Queensland NPL mid-table team Redlands United.

Dodd told The World Game the loss of Djite, in particular, hurt the club.

"It was always expected that some players would move on and get deals elsewhere, especially with them having been so successful," Dodd said.

"But I don’t I think the club would have been expecting the departure of someone like Bruce Djite, who leads the line so well.

"They’ve got some really important positions they need to fill and I think the game against Redlands in the FFA Cup showed they definitely need to strengthen the squad."

Asked if he was worried that there haven’t been more signings made yet, Dodd said: "It’s still relatively early days, the A-League kick-off is still almost two months away, but in saying that they need to find the players from somewhere and they can’t necessarily rely on foreigners for that.

"My understanding is that they’ve only got one foreign spot available, with Sanchez leaving, so they need to be able to find quality Aussie players and hopefully it’s not too late.

"Unless they can negotiate with other clubs to get players in I don’t think there’s really a lot available here that aren’t contracted somewhere.

"If the squad is still looking the same getting closer to the season, say this time next month, and they haven’t been able to add to it then I may be concerned, but by all reports the club management have met with the senior players and assured them that there are players that are being targeted.

"So you can only take their word for it and I’m sure they are out there actively trying to get players.

"It’s certainly something the playing squad would like to see happen pretty quickly and I’m sure the Adelaide United fans would be pretty keen to see the stocks being boosted as well, because everyone wants to see the team back up the performances of last season and go as far as they can.

"But it’s not time for panic yet, there is still time for the club to put things in place and get players on-board."

Dodd said there were various avenues the club would be exploring, in the search for the right players.

"The club has got to either look in the local leagues for what’s available, or try to poach someone from another club," he said.

"That can be difficult at this stage of the pre-season, but Melbourne City have just signed Josh Rose from Central Coast, so things can be done.

"Or they can look for Aussie players who are overseas and want to come back home. Perth Glory have done quite well in that area this year.

"The players are around, but obviously it’s a bit of a research program you have to go out and undertake and the club would be doing that.

"They’ve got a couple of injuries as well, with players like Sergio Cirio, who has been out with a broken bone in his foot, so those players who couldn’t play in the FFA Cup game will eventually be back, even if one or two of them might be underdone for the start of the season.

"I’d suggest to the fans that they remain calm, they’ve still got a core of the group together and a couple of players to come back from injury, and hopefully all of this won’t disrupt their pre-season too much in terms of fitness.

"Moving forward, they will still have the bulk of the squad from last season. It’s about being able to replace those key players from last season who have been lost.

"It’s getting late in the day to try to find the right Australian players, but I’m sure the club is working overtime to do that."

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5 min read
Published 13 August 2016 at 7:39pm
By Greg Prichard