Around the grounds: Veart challenges Reds to lift, Corica and Arnold prepare for battle

Adelaide United Head Coach Carl Veart says there's improvement to be made in his side's final third decision-making after the Reds notched a 2-0 win over NPL South Australia outfit Para Hills on Tuesday night.

An early Michael Marrone header put Adelaide in front and a second-half own goal gave the Reds a two-goal buffer, before dangerous weather conditions called a halt to the contest with a quarter of an hour to play. 

Despite being pleased with the result Veart spoke to AUFC Media on Wednesday morning to challenge his side to improve as the 2020/21 A-League season draws closer.

"I think again last night we had some really good moments in the game, but there were a lot of moments there where our final touch and our final ball just wasn’t at a standard that was good enough," Veart said.

"There were some really good aspects of the game last night that I was really happy with, but just the quality in our final pass and our final decision let us down at times. 

"I think that will improve with the match conditioning."

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Veart can expect improvement to come not just in pre-season training but by bolstering his squad through the club's recruitment drive which secured the signature of former FC Schalke 04 defender George Timotheou on Tuesday.

Veart says Timotheou's arrival gives his side vital coverage on the left side of defence, a luxury not afforded to him as Head Coach in the 2019/20 A-League campaign.

"It’s fantastic, it provides us a lot more balance and opportunities in the back four," he said.

"We hadn't really had any cover on the left side of defence, for all of last season we never really had any cover there.

"George has come in and the quality that he’s got for a young player - he’s going to take a little bit of time because he hasn’t played football for nearly 12 months... but we’re prepared to invest that time into him because we know the quality is there."

Corica to battle his predecessor as Sydney FC host Arnold's Australia U-23's

Sydney FC Head Coach Steve Corica faces a unique challenge when his side play host to an Australia U-23 side led by former Sky Blues boss Graham Arnold on Thursday night.  

Corica, who has won two A-League Championships and the 2019/20 Premiers Plate in his two seasons as Sky Blues Head Coach, will face Arnold in the opposite dugout for the first time in his coaching career.

Arnold experienced a similarly fruitful spell at the helm at Sydney FC, winning two Premierships, a Championship and a FFA Cup during his four-year stint.

The contest at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium, which kicks off on Thursday, November 12 at 7:00pm AEDT, offers vital minutes to both sides preparing for very different challenges ahead, as Corica and the Sky Blues ramp up pre-season preparations for the 2020/21 A-League campaign whilst Arnold's Australia U-23's kick-start their run to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Corica; Arnold
Corica worked as Arnold's Assistant Coach at Sydney FC before replacing Arnold as Head Coach for the 2018/19 A-League campaign

Australia U-23 Men’s National Football Team v Sydney FC 
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah, New South Wales
Date: Thursday, 12 November 2020
Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT
Tickets: GET YOUR TICKETS HERE (limited number of tickets due to COVID-19 protocols available online only) 
Broadcast: Live via Facebook (Socceroos, Sydney FC, A-League), Kayo Sports, My Football Live App, My Football YouTube  

Griffiths outlines strong personal ambitions for 2020/21 A-League campaign

Melbourne City utility Rostyn Griffiths says a frustrating lack of game time in his side's 2019/20 Finals Series campaign has left him determined to prove his worth as a regular starter and blitz pre-season under the watchful eye of new Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo.

Former boss Erick Mombaerts led City to a first A-League Grand Final last season, which they lost 1-0 in extra time to Sydney FC. 

Griffiths made 22 appearances for City last season but fell down the pecking order under Mombaerts as the Finals Series commenced.

The experience left Griffiths with a determination to prove his worth as a vital member of Kisnorbo's first 11 for the upcoming A-League campaign.

Griffiths; Maclaren
Griffiths battles City teammate Jamie Maclaren during City's pre-season training in late October

“It was definitely frustrating watching those games from the bench,” Griffiths told the club website.

“There were various reasons for that but I've decided that I really want to be playing in the big games this season.

"Going into this season my biggest goal has been to get myself into the best shape I possibly could and I think I'm on course to do that.

“I really just want to try and get as many games as possible."

Griffiths continued: "this club is a place that demands high achievement and we got pretty close last year.

"Hopefully this will be the last club I play at so it would be nice to retire winning at the team where I've spent the longest stint in my career.

“The contract I've got here should take me through to at least 4 or 5 years of service so it would be nice to finish with some sort of silverware."