The wait is finally over for Adelaide United FC Coach Michael Valkanis and his squad as they come up against Brisbane Roar in a cutthroat clash at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
The wait is finally over for Adelaide United FC Coach Michael Valkanis and his squad as they prime themselves for the club-s first Hyundai A-League final in over two years as they come up against Brisbane Roar in a cutthroat clash at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Valkanis today reemphasised that the past two months have been about building up to this game, and with the luxury of being able to put his best team out on the park, he is confident the Reds can send the reigning champions packing.
“We-re looking forward to it,” Valkanis said after the squad-s final training session.
“It-s like we-ve been waiting for this game for a long time…we-ve done good work on the training track this week so we-re really focused and ready for it.”
Recent records suggest the Reds are up against it if they are to book a date with the Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium next Friday night.
The Roar registered 1-0 wins in their two visits to Adelaide this season, while the Reds have only beaten Brisbane once in their past six games against Mike Mulvey-s men at Hindmarsh.
But heading into the biggest game of United-s season so far, Valkanis is rightly taking no interest out of what has taken place previously and says him and the players are only focused on what happens once they cross the white line.
“I keep saying it - we-ve got to live in the now,” Valkanis said in response to the two results at home against the Roar.
“That was in the past what happened in the league games and people keep talking about records, stats…they mean nothing in a finals game, so we-re not even looking at that.”
“That-s in the past…our team are talking about what we have to do now in this game.”
After watching the tension of last night-s other Elimination Final between Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory, Valkanis said it reinforced the lift in intensity that finals bring and the importance of not these letting opportunities slip.
“For a game like this, it-s not like you need so much external motivation, it-s a final, I was watching the game last night and you get excited watching it and you can-t wait until you are playing,” Valkanis said.
For the do-or-die showdown, Valkanis appears likely to recall Marcelo Carrusca, Nigel Boogaard and Cassio to the side after the trio all missed the draw with Perth Glory last Saturday.
Cassio, who is no stranger to this time of the season having been part of the Reds- 2008/09 and 2010/11 finals tilts, also shares Valkanis- opinion that the past is now forgotten.
“It-s finals, everyone is pumped up to play. It-s 90 minutes, we have to do everything we can to win the game,” Cassio said.
“We-ve worked since July for this game, so forget what-s happened in the season, we-ve played up and down, the season hasn-t been very consistent but so what, now it is 90 minutes, we-re playing at home, hopefully the crowd comes and helps us.”
A favourite among the United faithful, the Reds- pocket rocket said boisterous home support and a huge pro South Australian contingent at Hindmarsh would go a long way to influencing the result.
“We need the fans- help. They-re a very important part, so even for them, forget what happened (during the season), it-s about this game, 90 minutes and their support will help us to go through,” Cassio said.
While past records may count for little come kick-off, Valkanis will be aware that Brisbane are yet to win this season after conceding the opening goal of the game, thus he will be hoping his charges can storm out of the blocks, strike first and improve on their starts from recent weeks.
Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season - Elimination Final ADELAIDE UNITED FC v BRISBANE ROAR Sunday 7 April 2013, Hindmarsh Stadium Kick-Off: 4.30pm ACST Referee: Chris Beath
Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132849 or Click here) TV: LIVE & Exclusive on Fox Sports 2 Radio: LIVE on 891 ABC Adelaide, Grandstand Digital and online Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #ALeagueFinals)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 19.Jake Barker-Daish, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 22.Fabio Ferreira, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 25.Tomi Juric *Four to be omitted
Ins: Nigel Boogaard (returns from suspension), Cassio (returns from injury), Marcelo Carrusca (returns from injury), Daniel Bowles, Evan Kostopoulos, Tomi Juric (promoted) Outs: Awer Mabil (omitted) Unavailable: Nil
Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael Theo (gk), 3.Shane Stefanutto, 4.Matt Jurman, 5.Ivan Franjic, 7.Besart Berisha, 8.Massimo Murdocca, 9.Stef Nijland, 11.Ben Halloran, 12.Julius Doe, 13.Jade North, 14.Steven Lustica, 15.James Donachie, 17.Mitch Nichols, 18.Luke Brattan, 19.Jack Hingert, 20.Matt Acton (gk), 22.Thomas Broich (c), 21.James Meyer, 25.George Lambadaridis, 26.Corey Brown *Three to be omitted
Ins: Matt Jurman (promoted), Henrique (promoted), Julius Doe, James Meyer (promoted), George Lambadaridis (promoted), Corey Brown (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: Matt Smith (hip - season), Henrique (ankle)
Adelaide United FC vs. Brisbane Roar - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record: Played 25 - 9 wins, 8 draws, 8 losses
At Hindmarsh Stadium Played 13; Adelaide United 4, Brisbane Roar 6, Draws 3
Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 2-Mar-2013 Week 23, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United FC 0 Brisbane Roar 1 (Halloran 83-)