No more celebrations as Adelaide United get back to business

Adelaide United star Stefan Mauk said the Reds were not patting each other on the back at training after winning the A-League title last season. If they were, he was sure coach Guillermo Amor would slap it out of them quick smart.


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Mauk said the time to celebrate last season’s glory was gone and focus has shifted to the upcoming campaign. Adelaide will be competing on three fronts – the FFA Cup, A-League and AFC Champions League.

The Reds have been back at training for four weeks and Mauk said the atmosphere has not changed at the club despite their A-League success last season.

“Oh, it hasn’t really been spoken of too much," Mauk said.

"That’s why, I believe, we were so successful last season. We never really spoke about the wins on the weekend or focusing on winning the title.

“Everyone wants to win the title, but we never got ahead of ourselves and I think it’s the same heading into this season. No-one is wandering around thinking they’re pretty good.

“We’re just worrying about training as hard as possible in the pre-season and focusing on the games coming up and the FFA Cup starting.”

Mauk said Amor, who steered the team to the title in what was his first season as a head coach, wasn’t looking back either.

“Yeah, not at all. Since we came back to training Guillermo really hasn’t said anything about winning the title and now it’s all about this season,” Mauk said.

“Everyone will remember that we won the title for the first time for the fans, but the fans are just as ambitious as the players are and our challenge now is to do well again this season.”

The nature of the A-League, with five months between the competition ending and a new one starting, is that there is often huge turnover of players at clubs between seasons.

But Adelaide did well to hang on to the vast majority of their 16-man squad from grand final day on 1 May, when they beat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at Adelaide Oval.

Winger Bruce Kamau went to Melbourne City, fullback Craig Goodwin went to Sparta Rotterdam and veteran Pablo Sanchez was released, but the other 13 from that squad were all retained.

Ben Garuccio, Ryan Kitto, Marc Marino and Jesse Makarounas have so far been signed from other A-League clubs and there will be several more signings to come, with holes still available as a result of a couple of players from outside of the grand final squad also having departed.

“It’s just the nature of the league to see a lot of player turnover and we did pretty well to keep most of the players,” Mauk said. “The club re-signed a few players who were off contract and could have easily gone to other clubs.

“Coming into next season we’re probably already ahead of a lot of teams who have signed a lot of new players, because most of us are already very familiar with each other.

“Now we’re getting used to the new players that we have got and we can start working on certain things we want to implement this season.”

Late in the A-League’s regular season, the Asian Champions League group stage will begin. Mauk said it is exciting times ahead for Adelaide, which has a fine record in the ACL.

“It’s a few games added to the schedule and travel on top of that, which is hard,” he said. “But it’s where we want to be.

“It’s important to get a good start to the A-League season so that when the Champions League does come around and the scheduling and travel make it difficult at times then we’ve got points stored up in case we drop a game or two.

“Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC did quite well in the ACL at the end of last season. It shows Australian teams are just as capable as the Asian teams and with big-name players going to China now the incentive is there to play against them and beat them.

“Every player in our squad is looking forward to the challenge of doing well in the ACL.”

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4 min read
Published 13 July 2016 at 12:22pm
By Greg Prichard