Kossie grateful for ACL opportunity

It is funny but probably more uncanny and ironic how things often work out in life, and John Kosmina getting the chance to coach Adelaide in the AFC Champions League is a classic case in point.

It is funny but probably more uncanny and ironic how things often work out in life, and John Kosmina getting the chance to coach Adelaide in the AFC Champions League is a classic case in point.

Call it karma, call it a reward deserved, call it luck - whatever it is, Kosmina-s opportunity to be in the driver-s seat for the Reds- 2012 AFC Champions League campaign is certainly fitting of being as the man himself describes it, as ‘an interesting twist in the story-.

Adelaide United-s inaugural coach, Kosmina helped the club qualify for the AFC Champions League in 2007 and 2008 after the Reds were respectively Premiers in 2005/06 and Grand Finalists in 2006/07.

However, despite his success and accomplishments while at the helm in getting the club to compete in the prestigious Asian competition, a fallout at the end of the 2006/07 season saw Kosmina leave the club and prevented him from having the chance to take the Reds on their first journey into the ACL.

Now five years on, the shoe is on the other foot as Kosmina finds himself in charge of the team-s fortunes in the 2012 AFC Champions League thanks to the Reds- third place finish in 2010/11. The way it has turned out and how it came about is something he admits he is amazed by.

“It-s an interesting twist in the story of how it sort of all panned out,” Kosmina said.

“Three months ago I wouldn-t have even thought about this, but then three months ago Adelaide weren-t even in the Champions League, so it has just worked out that way and I-m grateful for the opportunity - it-s exciting.”

Of the list of achievements and experiences Kosmina has had as a player and a coach, he agrees that being part of this AFC Champions League campaign, albeit that the Reds have not played a game yet, is one of the high points in his coaching career.

Not that he needs any further incentive, but with the Reds in a group with some of the best clubs in Asia - Bunyodkor, Pohang and Gamba Osaka, Kosmina will relish the chance to pit himself and his group of players against them.

After the Hyundai A-League season the club has had, many will have doubts whether United has any chance of getting past the Group Stage, which the squad of 2010 did.

But Kosmina knows there is a sizeable difference between the personnel from then to now, namely in experience. Regardless, one can be sure Kosmina will give this competition his best shot and continue to work on getting the best out of a squad that he says has the capability to do well.

“I think the biggest problem we-ve got with some of the people back home is that they-re comparing this Adelaide United side with the last one and I think the last one was vastly more experienced across the board with some key players in key positions,” Kosmina said as the Reds enter their fourth ACL campaign.

“Having said that this is still a really good squad, it-s got a lot of potential and I think if we can leave the things behind us that weren-t going right in the A-League and start fresh for this, which we will because our style of play, philosophy and shape will be a little bit different, then I am confident of a good showing on Tuesday.”

For everything that Kosmina has put into Adelaide United, it only seems right that he gets the chance to lead it on the continental stage.