Adelaide United Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season Preview
A new season brings about a sense of renewed optimism and for Adelaide United Women they will be aiming to build on the huge strides they made last campaign under Head Coach, Ivan Karlović.
Adelaide experienced their most successful season in 2018/2019, finishing sixth, and agonisingly missing out on a maiden finals appearance by a solitary point.
Karlović’s side won a record five matches while drawing three to collect 18 points.
The Reds were unbeaten in their first five matches to start the season and climbed as high as second by Round 9.
However, three consecutive defeats to begin the new year ultimately meant finals football would elude United.
But having retained the nucleus of the squad, mixed in with some quality signings, it is a recipe Karlović and the rest of the coaching staff hope will produce success.
We sat down with the AUFC Women boss to get his thoughts on the upcoming season ahead of their Round 1 opener against Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday night.
On how the squad has come together…
We’re happy the pre-season is over and really looking forward to getting into competitive games. It’s been challenging with a number of players away with a fair portion of the pre-season. But we’ll be prepared and really looking forward to getting underway.
On the new signings…
Ciara and Mary Fowler: To secure the signings of these two very promising, young footballers is fantastic for our team and Adelaide United as a club. Both Mary and Ciara have experience with the national set-ups and this will certainly help us as we head into the new season. Their quality will help to lift our standard and I’m sure they’ll be a perfect fit to our dressing room chemistry.
Mallory Weber: We’re very excited to have brought Mallory to Adelaide United for the upcoming W-League season. Mallory is a dynamic player who will offer us plenty in the offensive third of the park and her experience in the NWSL will be invaluable to our young squad as we look to improve upon last season.
Julia Ashley: Julia is very good technically and is extremely athletic. She will certainly improve our squad especially from a defensive perspective.
Matilda McNamara: She has had a strong season with Adelaide City in the WNPL and was part of what was a very successful squad. Matilda provides us with extra depth and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop her game further in 2019/20.
Lais Araujo: Lais is a very talented footballer who is on the radar for the Brazilian national team and I am very confident that her qualities will propel the level of our football this campaign. She is another player with experience playing in a competitive European league and this will only benefit our team.
On facing Western Sydney Wanderers…
They’ve invested a considerable amount in their squad this year and that’s shown with the signings they’ve made. And certainly they look like they’re going to be a stronger side. There’s a lot of strong sides in the competition and every game is going to be a challenge and every game will be difficult, but we have confidence within our ability and our group and feel that we can progress and play in finals.
On the biggest threats in the competition…
I think the clubs that traditionally have the majority of the international Matildas which is your Brisbane, Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC and now Western Sydney have invested quite heavily. So they’re always going to be quite strong and difficult sides to play against. And that’s not taking away from any of the other sides because they’re all good sides also. So look every game will be a difficult game because as we saw last year we dropped most of our points against sides that were underneath us. You’ve to be on your game every single time you take to the field.
On being excited to see what the team can achieve…
We’re probably the youngest squad in the competition and a lot of other people are sort of talking about other sides having a huge local flavour. We traditionally had that and we have got that this year, so I’ve seen a lot of improvement in our local players and our younger players already this year. I think we’re more advanced from where we were last year, we have invested a lot of time and resources into their work in the offseason to help them become better footballers and better prepared for the W-League. So we’re looking forward to seeing how our young group develop and over the next few years I think if we can keep this group together and improving we certainly have the ability to have a powerhouse within the competition.
On appointing Amber Brooks as captain…
Amber was here last year and played a huge role in our season and how it went and was a strong leader within the group. And someone that the younger players really looked up to and she also took a lot of time out to help the younger players. So from our point of view it was a pretty easy decision with Amber because she possesses a great deal of experience and certainly will help lead and nurture the young group that we have.
Adelaide United Women face Western Sydney Wanderers Women in Round 1 of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 season on Thursday, 14 November at Marconi Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.