Football Federation Australia announced recently that Harvey Norman has secured the naming rights for Friday Night Football over the next three seasons of the Hyundai A-League. With the 2013/14 competition underway — you can watch all the A-League action on your LG television — let’s take a closer look at the team from The Festival State: Adelaide United F.C.
The original team colours of Adelaide United were a reflection of the state colours of South Australia: red, blue and yellow. In more recent times, the team has moved towards a predominately all-red kit. The jersey and shorts both feature a blue stripe running down each side. This season the club released a special commemorative playing shirt to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. The away jersey is mainly white and features blue stripes down the side, along with red sleeves across the shoulders and neck.
Adelaide United was established in 2003 after replacing Adelaide City in the now-defunct National Soccer League (NSL). FFA introduced the Hyundai A-League in 2005 and Adelaide United quickly emerged as a dominant force in the competition. The side was crowned the inaugural Premiers and finished as grand final runners-up the following season and also in the 2008/09 season. In 2007, ‘08, ‘10 and ‘12, the side qualified for the AFC Champions League and reached the final during the ‘08 campaign. As a reward for their success, Adelaide United were granted entry into the prestigious FIFA Club World Cup in Japan and finished in 5th place, while also picking up the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Last Season’s Performance
Adelaide United finished the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season in 4th place. The side came up against a determined Brisbane Roar outfit in the elimination final and found themselves 1-0 down after only 27 minutes thanks to a goal from Luke Brattan. The Roar continued to dominate and was duly rewarded when Ivan Franjic scored on the stroke of half time to set up a match-winning 2-0 lead. Adelaide started the second half in bright fashion; however they couldn’t trouble the score board. The side finally managed to find the back of the net in the 88th minute through Dario Vidosic, although the goal proved in vain as the Roar held on for the win and Adelaide were eliminated from the finals series.
Josep Gombau was a shock choice when he was announced as Adelaide United’s head coach at the start of this season. The Spaniard is a product of the Barcelona youth coaching set-up and has tried to install an entertaining and attacking brand of football based on retaining possession and a crisp, short-passing game. “For me, style is important … OK, it is good to win but for me winning or losing is not important,” Gombau said before the recent loss against the Central Coast Mariners.
Players To Watch
At present, Adelaide United is without a marquee signing. With only one month to go before the current season started, their Australian marquee player, Croatian-born Socceroo Dario Vidosic, left and signed with Swiss club FC Sion. The club has a number of international players in their squad, including vice captain Cassio, who was born in Brazil, as well as Argentineans Jeronimo Neumann and Marcelo Carrusca.
The Adelaide United supporter group is known as the “Red Army”. The Facebook page of the Red Army states that they aim to provide vocal support to the team and they claim to be the “loyalest football supporters for a reason because in Adelaide, United We Stand!” The supporter group believes every Adelaide United fan is a part of the Red Army: “Red Army is every Adelaide United Football Club man and woman, no matter where you sit at Hindmarsh or travel interstate, we all follow the same club and we are an Army of Red and Adelaide born and bred.”