Adelaide United Women Head Coach, Ivan Karlović, said he is thrilled to have star midfielder Alex Chidiac on board for the upcoming Westfield W-League 2017/18 season.
The 18-year-old experienced a breakout campaign last year with the Reds and following her stellar performances has received four caps for the Matildas this year.
Karlović lauded the re-signing of Chidiac and stated she will be an important part of the Reds’ plans for success.
“It’s fantastic Alex (Chidiac) is a fringe Matilda now who’s starting to work her way into the squad on a regular basis,” he said.
“And most importantly she’s a local girl who we’re looking to build the squad around and hopefully catapult her and the side into bigger and better things.”
Karlović, who amassed 44 NSL appearances, praised the attributes Chidiac will bring to the team.
“Alex is an extremely technical footballer, who loves to get on the ball and really makes the play happen,” he said.
“We’re looking for her to deliver that and help her improve her game.
“And I think if she takes her game to another level which we think she can do the team will go that next step too.”
The former defender, who also served as an assistant coach to the Women’s Team last campaign, suggested Chidiac’s experience will be extremely beneficial to her teammates.
“She’s very young but has achieved a hell of a lot in a short period of time,” he continued.
“So we’re looking at Alex helping nurture some of the younger girls coming through.
“And obviously some of the more experienced girls because she has been exposed to the international level.
“So we want her to help develop not only the young girls but impart some knowledge to the older ones too.”
The Reds will be desperate to build on from their sixth place finish last season in order to qualify for an inaugural finals appearance since the team’s inception.
Karlović is confident the Reds can achieve their primary objective of securing a spot in the Westfield W-League 2017/18 finals series.
“We want to make finals and have a really good crack at this season and we feel that with the squad we’re going to put together we have a good chance of doing that,” he said.
“And I think it’s important for us as a football club because this side hasn’t made finals in its history so we really want to be the first side to do that.
“And build on what the girls did towards the end of last year which I thought was quite good.”
On a personal note, Karlović said it was a real privilege to be given the opportunity to coach AUFC Women.
“Women’s football is growing immensely at the moment,” he said.
“It’s a great place to be and I think the Club has really put a huge focus on the women’s game and we’re looking to build that.
“For me personally I just want success for the team and that for me will be a fantastic achievement.”
Karlović further hinted more player arrivals will be announced soon ahead of the new season.
“We’re working quite heavily behind the scenes in terms of having players commit to the squad,” he revealed.
“Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll start to announce a few more signings.
“We’re very comfortable with the squad we’re starting to put together, but we feel we’re going to have a very competitive side.”