The Reds won the A-League premiership and championship double last season, but have since lost stars Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Bruce Kamau (Melbourne City), Stefan Mauk (NEC) and Bruce Djite (Suwon FC), and veteran Pablo Sanchez, who was released.
They have bought several promising, but less-experienced players, including Ben Garuccio, Ryan Kitto, Marc Marino and Jesse Makarounas, but are yet to sign any established stars and their fans have exhibited signs of concern.
Adelaide were chasing former German international striker Kevin Kuranyi, but it has been reported in the last 24 hours that he has turned down the club’s offer.
Reds fans will no doubt be disappointed, but 19-year-old Mells was philosophical and said he had the utmost confidence in the club’s ability to adequately fill any holes in the playing roster.
“When you see big names mentioned as possibilities to come to your club, you take note because of the quality they would bring to any side, but as a player there’s no point in getting your hopes up until something actually happens,” Mells said.
“It’s always nice to have someone come in from a high level, because them being there helps take your game to another level, but if a player is approached and doesn’t come, then that’s just football and I’m sure our club will find suitable players for the positions that are still open.
“Any team that goes out and wins the double, they’ve obviously got the right people at the club in the coaching and management positions, and we’ve still got those same people here now that we had last season.
“The core of the team is still there as well, the same goalkeeper, the back four, the midfield, and we’ve got some good young players who have come in, so it should be no excuses.
“I think everyone’s pretty positive at the club. I’m not too sure what the opinion is from some of the fans, but from the players’ perspective we’re pretty positive going into the later stages of pre-season and if we sign a few more players, we sign a few more players.
“And if we don’t sign many more, we’ll still be positive going into the season and looking to win it again.”
Mells said Adelaide coach and Barcelona great Guillermo Amor, who steered the Reds to the double in what was his first season as a head coach, was projecting an air of calm at training and that the players were running off that.
“Even when we had the losing streak of games at the start of last season, Guillermo was always calm and believing in the team and he always had the players behind him,” he said. “It’s a credit to both parties, I think. He’s fantastic and the players have matched that as well.
“All the players can worry about is the football. If we start worrying about things that are not our concern, or are out of our control, it takes away from the football.
“The coach may rely on a couple more younger players to do the job and if that’s the case I’m sure those players won’t be complaining. They would love the opportunity.
“Trying to get the right balance is the key and we had that last year with a lot of youth but also a good amount of experience. Everyone who is still here has another year of experience in them now, so things are good.
“I guess we’ll see in round one how things unfold and a new story will be written.”