Wanderers & Heart to provide sterner tests

Adelaide United FC has locked in two pre season matches against Hyundai A-League opposition as the season draws closer.

Adelaide United FC has locked in two pre season matches against Hyundai A-League opposition as the lead up to the start of Season 9 draws closer.

The Reds will head to Centrebet Stadium in Sydney-s western suburbs to take on the Western Sydney Wanderers on September 22 before tackling Melbourne Heart at Epping Stadium on Friday, September 27.

Adelaide United General Manager - Football Operations, Michael Petrillo, says the chance to face the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers and a Melbourne Heart side determined to improve their position on the table this season will prove invaluable to the Reds- preparations.

“These games are crucial to our preparation for the season proper and both these teams will provide the coaching staff with a really good gauge on where the team is at, as well as giving us ideal match conditioning,” Petrillo said.

Compounding the importance of these matches is that Adelaide United has withdrawn from the 2013 Menpora Cup in Indonesia after organisers postponed the tournament to begin a fortnight later.

This means the tournament will only commence late September, which would see it finish just a few days before the first round of the Hyundai A-League.

Petrillo believes this could be detrimental to the squad as it works towards being in the best possible condition for its Round 1 clash against Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium on October 13.

“To have travelled to Indonesia and miss out playing against Western Sydney and Melbourne Heart was never going to be an option for us,” Petrillo said.

“It's disappointing to have had a change of schedule thrown at us at the last minute but we are negotiating with other A-League clubs as we speak to replace the games we would have played in Indonesia, so maybe in the long run it could work out better for us in terms of the standard of teams we play as preparation.”

The club is currently in the process of trying to finalise at least one more trial match against a Hyundai A-League opponent before the season proper kicks off.

The squad has the next four days off before returning to training on Monday for the final six week block of pre season. Coach Josep Gombau is also scheduled to be back on Monday after bringing his wife and two daughters over from Spain.

Pre-Season Matches v Western Sydney Wanderers Sunday 22 September 2013 Centrebet Stadium, Penrith Kick-Off 2pm AEST

v Melbourne Heart Friday 27 September 2013 Epping Stadium, Melbourne Kick-Off 2.30pm AEST