High fitness levels behind Reds’ invincible start says O’Doherty

After scoring a stunning last-gasp free-kick which handed Adelaide United a 2-1 friendly win over Melbourne City on Tuesday, Jordan O’Doherty hailed the team’s increase in fitness levels.

George Blackwood’s equaliser from the spot and O’Doherty’s unerring set-piece cancelled out Stefan Mauk’s opener, in the modified friendly which consisted of three 40 minute periods.

O’Doherty said he has noticed the Reds have been physically stronger than all their opponents they have confronted during the off-season.

The surge in endurance can largely be attributed to the routine double training sessions implemented by Boss, Marco Kurz, and his coaching staff.

“It’s been good obviously we’re very fit and we’re very disciplined at the moment,” he said.

“We’re going into games probably a lot fitter than the other sides which is good and it’s giving us that extra edge especially in longer games.

“Like the modified 120 minute game we played on Tuesday (at City Football Academy) where I’d say we were definitely the fitter side.

“So we’re playing some disciplined football and we’re working hard.”

The 19-year-old also discussed his match-winning strike after curling a free-kick into the top corner.

“We won the free-kick late and I just stepped up and put it to the keeper’s side – to his left,” he explained.

“So it was a pretty good feeling to score.”

O’Doherty said he is anticipating a difficult Quarter Final clash against Heidelberg United in the Westfield FFA Cup next Wednesday.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said.

“Obviously they’re a very good local side, they’ve done well and they’ve looked good when I’ve been watching them play.

“So they’ll be up for it for sure, they haven’t come this far to play it easy.

“So I’d imagine it will be a very tough game and we’re definitely up for a tough game that’s for sure.”  

Adelaide United will face Heidelberg United in the Quarter Finals of the 2017 Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday, 13 September at Olympic Village. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST.