Adelaide United finished bottom of the ladder last season, but that doesn’t tell the full story of how they actually performed.
The Reds were unlucky throughout the year, struggling with inconsistency, lack of goals as well as conceding in crucial moments, sometimes right at the end of the match. But, their style of play and structure was on point for the majority of the season, which they can build on for 2018/19.
Adelaide played well and beat some of the top sides in the W-League, including Round 3 where a Kerr-less Perth Glory visited Marden Sports Complex. The result going Adelaide’s way in a massive 3-1 victory. Brisbane and Newcastle then scraped by with wins in Rounds 4 and 5.
Adelaide then came away with a memorable 1-1 draw with Melbourne City. The Reds then suffered losses from Round 7-10 but beat the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium. The side showed some life towards the end of the season and ended on a high with a revenge win over Victory.
The team will be looking to avoid another repeat of last season as winners of the wooden spoon, and instead build their case to have a shot at their first ever finals series.
There has been a multitude of changes within the squad. With the departure of Matildas Alex Chidiac (Atletico Madrid) and Eliza Campbell (Perth Glory), along with Jenna McCormick, Adriana Jones and United’s core group of internationals in Danielle Colaprico and Katie Naughton, there are some big boots to be filled.
In one of the most notable and exciting coups of this season, the Reds have managed to snap up the league’s all-time highest goal-scorer Michelle Heyman. The veteran brings with her firepower in the front third and a wealth of experience to the young team
Coach Ivan Karlović lauded the arrival of the new United striker, who will be key to the side’s campaign this season.
“We believe Michelle will add a lot to our playing group. She’ll obviously bring a huge amount of quality on the field but is also extremely valuable off the field for our younger players.”
Icelandic internationals Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir and Fanndís Friðriksdóttir will also be the steady hands to steer the team. Integral players of the national team, Jónsdóttir is known for her workhorse attitude in the middle of the park, while Friðriksdóttir’s attacking prowess will be called into action to combine with Heyman up top.
Joining them are Houston Dash’s Amber Brooks and Veronica Latsko. Brooks will provide stability in defence alongside captain Emma Checker, and Latsko will be tee up with Laura Johns and Emily Condon to control the midfield.
Meanwhile, Karlović has the luxury of deploying versatile and experienced ex-Wanderers player Kahlia Hogg in midfield or back line, further strengthening the Adelaide squad.
Local WNPL star Dylan Holmes and Rising Star and Player of the Year recipient Charlotte Grant (recently been called up to the Young Matildas squad for their AFC U19 Championships qualifiers) have also been rewarded places on the team after a standout 2018 season with Adelaide City and FFSA NTC respectively.