Captain Jon McKain sees the trip to New Zealand’s most iconic stadium to face the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday as a chance for the Reds to continue their recent resurgence.
Adelaide United FC captain Jon McKain sees the trip to arguably New Zealand-s most iconic stadium to face the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday as a chance for the Reds to continue building on their recent resurgence.
The Reds will tackle the Phoenix in the first Hyundai A-League match to be played at Auckland-s Eden Park, a venue steeped in New Zealand sporting history and many classic Bledisloe Cup battles between the rugby union sides of the two countries on either side of the Tasman.
“It-s obviously a sacred ground for the All Blacks and rugby union in general in New Zealand, so I think it will be special,” McKain said about playing at the venue that recently held the Rugby World Cup Final.
“It-s a beautiful stadium and hopefully we can put on a good show.”
If gracing the field at Eden Park is not already enough to have McKain and the Reds jumping out of their skin, there are a number of other motivations to drive them to make sure the experience at memorable one.
After an indifferent first month of the season, the past fortnight, which comprised of a draw with Melbourne Heart and a win over Gold Coast United, has brought a growing positivity amongst the squad.
McKain knows the Reds can use these past two performances to start generating a string of positive results and build on the confidence levels that have been gradually increasing at Hindmarsh.
“We-ve had a draw and a win in the last two games and we need to build on the momentum, obviously it depends what happens in the game, but we-re going there for three points,” McKain said.
“We need to build up some momentum, you see how tight the A-League is and we need to put some consistency and results back to back.”
Indeed, the Hyundai A-League table shows the Reds sitting just four points off second place, while only four points separate third from last after six weeks of the season.
Saturday-s game also has a touch of added significance for McKain in that it will be the first time he will go up against his former club after he spent two seasons at the Phoenix between 2008 and 2010. Still friends with a number of players in Wellington-s squad, McKain says any friendships will be put aside come kick-off.
“It-s always good to get one over your mates but that-s not my aim at the moment. My aim is to win three points for Adelaide and that-s enough motivation I need,” McKain said.
Reds Head Coach Rini Coolen has been forced to take a relatively youthful team to Auckland due to the unavailability of some of the more familiar names that have played in the first six games.
Osama Malik, Fabian Barbiero, Antony Golec and Ricardo Da Silva have all made the trip, and despite the limited minutes combined the quartet has had in the Hyundai A-League this season, Coolen has full confidence that they can step in and do the job.
“The positive thing for these other players is that they-ve worked hard to be picked in the squad, so that gives them a chance and that-s what you want, everybody focused to take their chance,” Coolen said.
Possibly the most notable inclusion is that of Da Silva. The Portuguese born attacking midfielder was signed from local club Adelaide City this year and Coolen hinted there was a strong chance the 28 year old would make his Hyundai A-League debut off the bench on Saturday.
Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season - Week 7 Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United FC Saturday 19 November 2011, Eden Park, Auckland Kick-Off: 2.30pm ACDT Referee: Peter Green
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Twitter: https://twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #HALwpau)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon Mckain (C), 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 13.Ricardo Dasilva, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Spase Dilevski, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Francisco Usucar, 39.Nick Munro (gk) *one to be omitted*
In: Osama Malik (Promoted), Antony Golec (Promoted), Ricardo Da Silva (Promoted), Fabian Barbiero (Promoted) Out: Daniel Mullen (International Duty), Sergio Van Dijk (Calf - 1-2 Weeks), Andy Slory (General Soreness - 1 Week) Unavailable: Evgeniy Levchenko (Calf - 1 Week), Mark Birighitti (Gk) (International Duty), Milan Susak (Calf - 1 Week)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Mark Paston (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Tony Lochhead, 4.Brent Griffiths, 6.Tim Brown, 7.Leo Bertos, 8.Paul Ifill, 9.Chris Greenacre, 11.Daniel, 12.Nicky Ward, 13.Niko Tsattalios, 15.Cameron Lindsay, 17.Vince Lia, 18.Ben Sigmund, 20.Tony Warner (gk), 22.Andrew Durante (c), 24.Alex Smith *two to be omitted*
In: Paul Ifill (returns from injury), Vince Lia (returns from injury) Out: Dani Sanchez (groin injury) Unavailable: Lucas Pantelis (knee injury - indefinite), Mirjan Pavlovic (broken arm - 2-3 weeks), Jimmy Downey (knee injury - 4-6 weeks), Dani Sanchez (groin injury - 2-4 weeks)
Adelaide United vs. Wellington Phoenix - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 13 - 6 wins, 4 draws, 3 losses
18-Feb-2011… W 1-0… 2010/11 Final Week 1 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 5-Feb-2011… L 0-1… 2010/11 Wk 26 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 5-Dec-2010… L 1-2… 2010/11 Wk 17 (AMI Stadium, Christchurch) 22-Oct-2010… W 3-0… 2010/11 Wk 11 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 30-Jan-2010… L 0-1… 2009/10 Rd 25 (AMI Stadium, Christchurch) 18-Dec-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 20 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 4-Sep-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 5 (Westpac Stadium) 18-Jan-2009… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 20 (Westpac Stadium) 5-Dec-2008… W 6-1… 2008/09 Rd 14 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 30-Aug-2008… W 3-0… 2008/09 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 30-Nov-2007… W 2-1… 2007/08 Rd 15 (Westpac Stadium) 28-Oct-2007… W 4-1… 2007/08 Rd 10 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 22-Sep-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd 5 (Westpac Stadium)
At AMI Stadium Played 2; Adelaide United 0, Wellington Phoenix 2, Draws 0
At Westpac Stadium Played 4; Adelaide United 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Draws 3
At Hindmarsh Stadium Played 7; Adelaide United 5, Wellington Phoenix 1, Draws 1
Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 18-Feb-2011 Final Week 1, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United FC 1 (Dodd 70-) Wellington Phoenix 0
Adelaide United last three results Wk 6. 11-11-11… W 2-1… vs. Gold Coast United (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 5. 4-11-2011… D 1-1… vs. Melbourne Heart (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 4. 28-10-2011… L 1-7… vs. Brisbane Roar (Suncorp Stadium)