Adelaide United’s star centre-back Dylan McGowan sat down for a chat with The Advertiser’s Chief Football Writer Val Migliaccio, and answered your questions!
Val Migliaccio: How can you get your team prepared for the ladder leaders in Sydney FC this weekend?
Dylan McGowan: It’s a depleted side as it is at the moment with the injuries we have, especially with Sergio Cirio and Henrique and a few others that have been struggling with injuries. So in terms of what we need to do and how we get ourselves up for it, I think there’s no better test than playing against the best team in the league at this point in time and playing at their home. So hopefully they come into the game a little bit over confident and we definitely need the three points more than them so we’ll be going all out for them.
VM: How do you see the season panning out, considering you’ve been competing well and playing better compared to this time last year?
DM: I think in terms of performances, the message we’ve been getting from the coaching staff is that the performances are around the mark they want and that they expect. As players all you can really control is your own performance and the performance of those around you. In terms of competing we’ve been competing well in games. It’s just been crucial moments that’ve been killing us and whether that’s through a lack of concentration or something else that’s what we’re trying to put right. And I think once we get that right our performances deserve the wins and we will get them eventually. It’s more a case of sticking together now and doing what we’re doing, but just doing them a little bit better.
Kate Johnson: Do you have any pre-match rituals?
DM: I’m not overly superstitious, we have a lot of extremely superstitious boys in the change rooms. If you watch closely Isaias is always the same number of people back from Eugene when he comes out of the tunnel. I think he’s third or fourth, you’ll notice every week he’s the same … and none of them touch the line as they come on, they all skip over the line. A lot of people bless themselves, the imports seem to be quite superstitious obviously a lot of the boys pray before the game and stuff.
Me myself I’m not overly superstitious I have a few things that I do, but that’s just habits. I put one shin pad before the other, my right generally, but it’s not something that would have to happen. It’s just through habit that I do that. But we do have a lot of boys that are superstitious but fortunately I’m not one of them.
Karl Smith: Which Hyundai A-League team do you like playing against?
DM: I like the Melbourne Victory games especially at home I think it creates a real atmosphere that you get used to if you’re playing in Europe and things like that. Some games, especially sometimes when it’s hot, the Sunday afternoon matches can be sort of like a real relaxed atmosphere in the stadium especially because everyone is enjoying the sun. You get a night game against Victory it really feels like you’re in an intense game and I think it brings the best out of the players.
VM: How do you think the team will be able to cope with the Asian Champions League in February?
DM: It’s something we’ve spoken about a fair bit recently, saying that we really need to start picking up points because when that time comes you might be playing in a squad that’s been rotated or tired bodies playing. For example we might fly back to Adelaide and then have fly to Perth or wherever we are. So in terms of that it’s going to be difficult physically, but I think with Greg King (High Performance Manager) we’ve got a great strength and conditioning coach who’s planned for this. He has his year planned out and knows where we need to be in terms of our GPS numbers at training and in games.
We prepared a lot for two games a week in pre-season, because we had that one week where we had two matches in a week for that Champions League qualifier (back in February). He really studied that week and how much running we did to get us prepared for that level, so hopefully that holds us in good stead.
Daniel Carpinelli: Do you think a new soccer stadium should be built in the city?
DM: I think if it’s proven that more fans will attend. I think with the public transport you’ve seen how much they’ve got their attendances up compared to Football Park (AAMI Stadium). If Adelaide can build one I think the people will come but it’s not up to us. If we keep getting big attendances at Coopers Stadium then it only pushes it even further.
Adam Trombetta: Which Adelaide United player would you least like to defend against?
DM: Marcelo Carrusca, because he’ll just make you look silly, you saw what he did at the weekend (against Perth Glory), he’s a special player. He gets nicknamed Roger Federer because he makes things look so easy.
Marius Zanin: Do you think you’re the one to take credit for Jimmy Jeggo’s rise?
DM: In one word, yes. Jimmy Jeggo came here as a young player that couldn’t play at Melbourne Victory and the Club had the wisdom to put him in a room with me as roommates. They made him hang out with me on a weekly basis and I changed his whole mindset and now he’s in the Socceroos. Guess who was my next roommate, Craig Goodwin. Took him to a new level and then I got Stefan Mauk and he left too. I have a proven track record of moving players around the country.
John Marino: What’s your favourite thing about playing your football in your hometown?
DM: Obviously there’s a lot of positives, my family get to watch and I’m probably the guy that’s asking for the most tickets most weeks because my mates come to the game. Obviously there’s a down side because you can’t hide from your bad results.
Watch the full video below!
Adelaide United will face Sydney FC in Round 8 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Saturday, 26 November at Allianz Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.