Adelaide United Women’s Westfield W-League 2020/21 season has come to an end, agonisingly missing out on a maiden finals appearance on goal difference.
The Reds enjoyed their most successful campaign to date, recording seven wins and accumulating a total of 22 points.
However, following Canberra United Women’s 0-0 draw with Sydney FC Women on Friday and Melbourne Victory Women defeating Perth Glory Women on Sunday, Adelaide’s top-four aspirations remain elusive.
United finish the season in fifth place on the same number of points as Canberra, but the capital outfit sneak into the finals series with a one goal superior goal difference.
Bitterly disappointed but proud…
Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, was extremely proud of his team’s efforts throughout the season, despite falling just short of reaching their objective.
“I’m really proud of the team and their efforts,” said Stenta
“I thought that they had done enough to play finals this year, but obviously we fell just short so it is bitterly disappointing.
“I feel for the playing group but there were still a lot of positives to take out of the season and they’ll provide us with things to build on moving forward, where we can hopefully achieve the goals we set out for ourselves.”
A highlight of the season…
The boss said there were many highlights throughout the campaign, but admitted it was hard to look beyond playing in front of a record Westfield W-League crowd for a standalone regular season game.
An incredible 5,159 supporters attended the Reds’ 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers Women at Coopers Stadium on Sunday, 21 March.
“I just think the way the group came together and was able to perform reasonably consistently was a real highlight for me,” he said.
“They really bought in to what we were trying to do, and that was a positive.
“But if one moment stands out it is probably playing in front of over 5,000 people at Coopers Stadium and hopefully we get the opportunity to do that again.”
An enjoyable experience…
It was Stenta’s first year in the role as Head Coach, after spending the previous two campaigns working closely alongside Ivan Karlović.
“I loved the experience,” Stenta revaled.
“I really enjoyed being part of such a wonderful group and that’s the Club, but also the staff and the playing group all together.
“And I’m just keen for more to be honest, I feel like we’ve got some unfinished business and really keen to look for ways to continue to build on what we’ve done this year and hopefully, like I said, achieve some of those goals we set out as a group.”
Build on the foundations laid and go again next year…
Stenta claimed the aim now will be to build on the momentum created this season and try and not only make finals but “do something meaningful”.
“One of the reasons why we were disappointed not to make finals was because we really thought, had we got into that situation that we wouldn’t just be making up the numbers,” Stenta explained.
“That we had a real shot of actually progressing through the finals series.
“Whilst it is a long off-season, I think that’s probably what sits at the forefront of my mind and hopefully the group’s mind.
“Where our goal previously might have been just to make a finals series, I think we’ve got a real opportunity to build on this season and look beyond that.
“And not just be a part of the competition and the finals potentially, but to do something meaningful and significant once we get there as well.
“We feel like we can and we hope to be able to achieve that in the near future.”