Adelaide United started their last A-League campaign slowly as they adapted to Josep Gombau’s game plan but are ready to strike this season.
Adelaide United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic says the sky is the limit for the Reds this term, freed of teething problems that plagued the club last year.
The A-League foundation club enter their second season with Spaniard Josep Gombau at the helm, with his possession-based style.
The game plan has won many friends around the league, but came together only after a period of tumult in Gombau’s first year.
After an opening day victory, United endured nine winless matches.
The streak threatened Gombau’s tenure and United’s season.
But as the Reds clicked into their new style, the results came.
Now with their structure ensconced, Galekovic says their off-season has been about adding new strings to their bow.
“Last year we had a slow start but now we’ve had two pre-seasons, a whole season under our belt,” he said.
“Last year we stuck with a 4-3-3 and we didn’t change too much from that.
“This year we’ve got that and we’ve got a Plan B and a Plan C.
“The boys can adapt very quickly if things aren’t going right.”
Gombau said he was excited and raring to go after a long pre-season, with their campaign beginning on Sunday at the home of champions Brisbane Roar.
He declared the side ready to compete for the title.
“What happened in the beginning of last season is normal,” he said.
“New coach comes, changes everything, it’s a process that takes time.
“We made mistakes, from these mistakes we learned… and after that, it was very good.
“We scored more goals than anybody. And we got results.
“Now we are at a level, a better level than we were at last season.”
But it’s away from the league where Gombau is really excited about the club’s future.
As Barcelona legend David Villa steals the spotlight ahead of his A-League debut, another is quietly transforming Adelaide United.
The Reds turned heads when they announced former champion midfielder Guillermo Amor was joining the club as technical director in August.
Amor and Gombau worked together at the Catalan giants last decade, with the United boss excited about his potential for South Australian football.
“He’s a person that can bring a lot of knowledge of the sport,” he said.
“We hope that in two or three years and on we won’t need to buy players, we will have a great kids that grow with the style, that want to play with us.”
Villa said he too was delighted at Amor’s influence in Australia.
“I first saw Amor playing for Barca, we have met in the past and I’m very happy to see high-quality Spanish players playing here and I’m looking forward to playing against them,” the Melbourne City loan signing said.