Coolen: End of era to spur GCU
It's being labelled as the end of an era at Gold Coast United with no less than five players leaving the club once their current Hyundai A-League campaign ends.
It's being labelled as the end of an era at Gold Coast United with no less than five players leaving the club once their current Hyundai A-League campaign ends - which could be as soon as Sunday after their elimination final against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Inaugural captain Jason Culina will join his father at Newcastle Jets, Steve Pantelidis is heading to the Indonesian Premier League, defender Dino Djulbic is moving to Chinese club Shaanxi Chanba and Dutchman Bas van den Brink is off to the K-League.
And the list continues with influential midfielder Zenon Caravella joining Sunday's opponent and Shane Smeltz tipped to sign for Perth Glory.
Reds coach Rini Coolen denied the pending departures will unsettle GCU ahead of the do-or-die clash, instead he suggested it will spur them on.
"Someone asked me maybe it's a negative thing for them," he said.
"But I don't think so. They are all professionals and they are all going to do the best job for their team to win the game so I don't see any problem for that."
Coolen admitted he is looking forward to working with next season's acquisition but until then, he expects Caravella to do everything he can help Gold Coast defeat Adelaide and impress his new manager in the process.
"I don't know if he'll start, but I think so," he said.
"He played a real good game last week (against Melbourne Victory). He's definitely a real good player and I'm really looking forward to working with him next season."
"But, he's a professional as well and he will do everything for his club and team-mates to win the game."
After torrential rain drenched the Reds' 1-0 win over Wellington last week, the temperature is expected to tip 30 degrees after a maximum of 35 on Saturday.
But Coolen doesn't believe his sun-soaked opponents from the Glitter Strip will enjoy an advantage playing in the heat.
"I'm not looking to use that (heat) as an excuse," he said.
"The boys are used to playing in this heat and you never know how it will be tomorrow. It could be a long game. I hope we can decide the game before 90 minutes. We'll see what happens tomorrow but I don't see that (heat) as an issue."
After two 0-0 draws in the Gold Coast this season, the Dutchman said the Reds had dabbled in practising penalties last week in the event of a shoot-out.
Coolen said every player took only one spot kick with very few failing to score.
"We did some work on penalties last week, but I don't think it's necessary to practise penalties every day," he said.
"We know which players are available to take penalties if it's necessary, but we prefer to win the game in 90 minutes."
"There was a session where everyone had the chance to take a penalty, but not more than one. To be honest, there weren't too many players who missed a penalty so the choice will not be