Coolen's goal to change Reds' culture

Adelaide United FC Head Coach Rini Coolen believes a shift in mentality within the club is needed if the Reds and its supporters are to taste the success of a Hyundai A-League championship and be back competing in the AFC Champions League.

Adelaide United FC Head Coach Rini Coolen believes a shift in mentality within the club is needed if the Reds and its supporters are to taste the success of a Hyundai A-League championship and be back competing in the AFC Champions League.

In his review of the Reds- 2010/11 season and plans for the year ahead, Coolen identified changing the culture that currently exists at the club would be a key focus in preparation for season seven.

After experiencing a host of disruptions in the lead up to, and during, the club-s recent finals campaign which again came to a premature end, Coolen is planning to significantly adjust the mindset of the club to one where everyone is united and moving in the same direction.

“We have to change the club culture and that means in short that the club is number one and that there is no person more important than the club, not even the coach, so that-s a kind of thing we have to change for the future,” Coolen said.

“Everybody has to go in the same direction, work together very well and support each other.”

“I think we have to be more professional, put the club in position number one. Everybody knows during the season things happen, everybody has an ego - that-s no problem, but the ego cannot be more important than the club, and every decision I make as a coach, every decision players and staff members make, has to be for the benefit of the club.”

During his address at a media conference this morning, the Reds boss also said a lot of emphasis in the lead up to next season will be put on having a more balanced squad with greater depth and serious competition for places.

“In terms of players, of course we have to look at our squad. As I said we need more numbers, there are a couple of spots available, maybe four or five positions,” Coolen said.

“Of course they have to be quality players, we need the right balance, they have to fit in our budget, they have to be proud to play for Adelaide United, and they have to have a challenge, and that challenge is to win something in the future with the club, and a personal challenge to use the club to make their next step for the future.”

“That-s what we prefer, to develop young players and have a challenge for them to win something as a team but also personally to make another step, so they-re the kind of players that we want to have at Adelaide United.”

It may not happen instantly, but Coolen is also hopeful of developing and having more home grown talent in the Reds- squad in the future. A scout that is certainly experienced on finding and identifying promising young players, Coolen believes it is a realistic dream to have an Adelaide United team comprising of a large percentage of South Australians.

“We prefer to bring more players from South Australia into the Adelaide United first team. If they are not available now then of course we have to look further than Adelaide, but in the future we have to bring in as many players as possible from Adelaide and give them a chance,” Coolen said.

“The most important thing is to develop the young kids. I think there a lot of talented football players in South Australia and it-s a nice challenge to have, but you need time for it. This is something we have already started, re-signing Daniel Mullen and Fabian Barbiero, bringing back Osama Malik, and also signing two young players who will join us in January, Paul Izzo and Jacob Melling.

“Also when we start the pre season, three players from the Youth Team, Evan Kostopoulos, Allan Welsh and Liam Wooding, will join us and get a chance to prove themselves.”

However, Coolen maintained that the top priority was to ensure Adelaide United was a club that continued to feature at the business end of the season and be a serious championship contender.

“As I said, the squad has to be good enough to play for the top positions on the table,” Coolen said.

“We did well this season but this club wants to play for the best positions in the league, play in grand finals and play in the Asian Champions League.”