Captain Dodd leads the way

One of Travis Dodd's mottos, 'What happens on the field stays on the field' has been challenged more than once in an eventful seven months for the newly-appointed Adelaide United captain.

One of Travis Dodd's mottos, 'What happens on the field stays on the field' has been challenged more than once in an eventful seven months for the newly-appointed Adelaide United captain.

The 28-year-old is looking to put two awkward situations behind him in a testament to his focus and commitment to team success.

The most recent issue surrounds his new leadership position. The right midfielder was given the captaincy role for the Hyundai A-League's fourth season ahead of last year's skipper Michael Valkanis.

While Dodd was a worthy candidate, it was a hard-luck story for Valkanis who has spent the past season recovering from a knee injury. If the 33-year-old's comeback had been smoother and he'd played more games before round one, there's every chance he would've maintained the number one mantle.

Compounding the problem for Dodd is the strong friendship he has with the veteran defender. The duo have been long-term team-mates and spend time with each other beyond what's required by the club.

Dodd said Valkanis had 'no hard feelings' towards him because the change was a 'football decision'. But the handover was still a tough one, according the right midfielder.

"I am close with Mickey and I guess it feels in a way that I have taken it away from him," Dodd said.

"But I can't let myself think like that and I have to focus on the job that I have got now."

"It was difficult to start with, but it has been a few weeks now and I guess we are starting to get past that. He's happy for me and is hoping the team goes forward from it."

Rather than allowing the captaincy to drive a wedge between two mates, Dodd said he was hoping to draw from Valkanis' experience.

"I've said to him from the start, and he said the same to me, if there is anything that he can see and he wants to give me advice on, I'm more than happy to hear from him. If there is something I need help with he said I'm more than welcome to come and speak to him," Dodd said.

"I still see him as a big leader at the club and when he starts playing again it'll be a bonus."

Dodd is also prepared to put a past clash with Queensland Roar behind him. In Round 21 of last season, the former Panioios player was floored by Danny Tiatto in a heated contest at Hindmarsh Stadium.

That incident, along with the transfer of Sasa Ognenovski from the Roar to the Reds, ensures there will be a strong rivalry between the clubs in 2008/09.

But lucky for Tiatto, Dodd is willing to forgive and forget.

"When we were in Queensland for an end of season trip he came up to me. I'm very much of the view, what happens on the field stays on the field - we had chat, he apologised and said that he lost his cool which is part of the game," he recalled.

However Dodd's gracious approach to that collision doesn't mean he'll be encouraging his players to take a passive approach to their football this year.

"Aggression is part of our game, we are a physical team and we like to play that way and we are not going to change that to suit other teams," he said.

"We always say that before the game, the first five to 10 minutes of the game, we want to stamp our authority and be hard in the tackles and try and assert our authority and nothing will change in that respect."