Dear Adelaide United family,
Welcome to the A-League and W-League 2020/21 Season.
What a journey it has been over the past nine-and-a-half months and we are now only days away from a return to football at Coopers Stadium when we take on Melbourne City this Sunday afternoon.
It would be an understatement to suggest that Australian football has changed forever since we last played a competitive game at home on 15 March. The League is now on the cusp of independence from Football Australia, a new broadcast deal has been negotiated with Fox Sports and fans have been starved for live sport as competitions around the world have been forced to play behind closed doors.
Whilst the COVID-19 created well documented challenges for Adelaide United, it also provided the Club with the opportunity to take stock and revisit who we are, what we stand for and what we mean to the SA football community. As was communicated at our Members’ Forum in mid-December, this review of our culture driven by the shutdown of the league in March and the result is a renewed Adelaide United, more focused on the values on which the Club was founded in 2003. To re-watch the Members’ Forum, click here.
As a result, the rebound from COVID-19 has seen the appointment of new A-League and W-League coaching staff, a greater emphasis on promotion of local talent and an increased focus on community engagement including the documentation of a clear Mission, Vision and Values for the Club. You can view this documentation here.
In hindsight undergoing a review of our cultural values was overdue, but we can now look forward to building on what we have developed over the past nine months and I believe we are already beginning to reap the rewards.
Our football programs have never been more aligned in purpose across our Women’s, Men’s and Youth teams. Appointing club legends Carl Veart, Ross Aloisi and Eugene Galekovic to lead our A-League team along with a Head of Youth Football, who will also serve as a third assistant to our A-League squad, in Airton Andrioli has stabilised our A-League program whilst fostering a more consistent pathway from youth to first team football. Adrian Stenta has been appointed W-League Head Coach with Ivan Karlović moving into the more strategic, Head of Women’s Football position which has provided our W-League program with much greater resourcing.
We will continue our focus on developing young South Australian footballers, while supplementing our squads with players from interstate and overseas to add necessary experience and leadership. The re-signing of last season’s W-League Club Champion, Mallory Weber and Socceroo, Tomi Juric demonstrates the Club’s commitment to balance player development with team performance as mutually important outcomes.
Off the field, Membership has been gradually building and SA Health’s recent approval of 75% capacity at Coopers Stadium has ensured that Members can retain their seats for the 2020/21 season. It has also provided the Club the opportunity to play a W-League game at Coopers Stadium on 21 March for the first time in over two years. We have some exciting announcements to make in the new year relevant to this match.
Our merchandise sales have significantly increased this season which is reflective on the quality of the product since we announced sportswear manufacturer UCAN as our Global Technical Partner in September. This partnership has allowed us to offer an apparel range which is more flexible in design and much more competitively priced which has been well received by fans.
From a commercial perspective we have extended some of our key partnerships with McDonald’s, SA Power Networks and Apex Steel all renewing for 2020/21 whilst Major Partner, Flinders University, and Platinum Partners, Starfish Property Developments and RAA, locked in on multi-year deals . We have also signed several new partners including Australian Outdoor Living, Lumin Wellbeing and Everlast Beverages. Our W-League partnerships also continue to grow with an exciting campaign involving My Money House to be revealed in the new year. The relationships with all our corporate partnerships have never been stronger, built on the hard work of our Commercial team coupled with the integration of our digital marketing and communication activities.
In summary, it is an exciting time for the Club and on behalf of everyone at Adelaide United, once again a huge thank you for your loyalty and support in 2020, as we aim to carry the momentum we have set on and off the park into 2021.
To you and your friends and families, I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and wish you a safe and happy New Year.
We look forward to seeing you against Melbourne City!