Kurz says Reds ready for season opener

Marco Kurz says his Adelaide United players are primed and ready ahead of their Round 1 trip to face Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

The Reds Head Coach will take charge of his first Hyundai A-League match on Sunday and will want to open the campaign with a positive result.

Speaking at a press conference, Kurz said the team is excited to finally start the season after such a long and rigorous pre-season.

“We feel good after this long and intensive pre-season, we are happy to start on Sunday in Wellington,” Kurz told reporters.

“I think it’s different to play friendly games than official games and we are ready to start and we are happy to start.”

Kurz admitted he is expecting a tough game against the Phoenix, who also have a new coach in Darije Kalezić.

“I think to start in Wellington away it’s a strong game for us,” he said.

“It’s a long distance, long travel, we have respect for Wellington, a good team with a new coach.

“I think the offensive players for example, both wingers and the number ten have good individual qualities.”

But despite the distance to play a league match being a unique experience for the 48-year-old, Kurz said it will have little impact on the outcome.

“I think we have enough experience in the club, for example we travel two days before (the match),” he said.

“It’s a long trip, then we have a training session in Wellington and I think it’s good.

“It’s new for me … But the players know the travel they know the time difference and for me it’s not a problem.”

Kurz revealed he has a rough idea of his starting XI for the match, but the German tactician was keeping his cards close to his chest.

“In my mind yes,” he revealed. “I have a formation in my mind, but I think a lot can happen in the next three days.

“I will present the line-up (to the team) for the game on Saturday.

“But we have an idea, we have a philosophy to play and we’ll see which players feel good and we have two more training sessions on Friday and Saturday.

“Then I’ll find the best line-up for the start.”

Kurz also said Isaías has barely had to adjust in his new role as Captain because he is a natural leader.

“I think it’s not a problem,” he said. “I think Isa (Isaías) in the last few years has been a leader and now he has the armband.

“But Isa is a leader on the field and it’s no different, I think it’s a good role to give him and a good person to represent the Club and the team.”  

The German was also quizzed about the importance of beginning the season strongly, following a slow start last year.

“We don’t like to think about the past, we like to only look forward,” he said.

“I think we trained hard, we had a good pre-season.

“The whole team feel confident in their quality and feel confident in the team and the style we’ll play and we are positive.

“And we travel to Wellington to make a good game.”

Adelaide United will face Wellington Phoenix in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Sunday, 8 October at Westpac Stadium. Kick-off is at 2.30pm ACDT.