Mirko Boland revealed his excitement about playing under the tutelage of newly appointed Adelaide United boss, Gertjan Verbeek, having crossed paths while both worked in Germany.
Boland admitted he was a keen admirer of the Dutchman’s attacking, possession-based philosophy and always found it difficult playing against the teams he managed in the German Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga.
“I know him,” Boland revealed. “I played against him when he was the coach in Bochum and also at Nürnberg in Germany.
“Every time it was hard to play against him because his teams have a really good style of football. It was difficult to play against them.
“I like his style of football, he likes to keep the ball, to go more into possession and the ball for him is the best friend.
“We want to have the ball a lot of the time and that’s what I like and I’m looking forward to that.”
The German midfielder returned from an extended offseason this week following his wedding with wife Natalie in his homeland.
He stated the team have done a lot of work with the ball at their feet with the intensity of training gradually increasing each week.
“We’ve worked a lot with the ball,” he said.
“It’s also normal that you do some runs to get fit, but we’ve a long pre-season and that means we’ve enough time.
“I think we’ll go step by step, week by week, a little bit harder and harder from each week.
“I think in the next few weeks it’ll get harder and we’ll cover more tactical things.”
The Reds take on local National Premier League side, MetroStars in their first pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.
Boland was optimistic he would receive some minutes, despite his fitness levels being slightly down from the other members in the squad.
“Normally it’s a question for the coach,” he admitted.
“But I think I’ll play, maybe not too long. I arrived only one week later here so it’s not too long like last year when I came three or four weeks later when pre-season started so it’s a little different.
“But like I said I feel pretty fit, so I feel good and I’m looking forward to play again.
“It’s cool that after such a long break you can play with the ball because games are always much better than training, it’s much more fun.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.