Dodd feeling refreshed

Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd has returned to the club refreshed and focused after enjoying his first substantial break from football in two years.

Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd has returned to the club refreshed and focused after enjoying his first substantial break from football in two years.

Back-to-back Asian Champions League campaigns had created some long and hectic schedules for the Reds and the durable Dodd had been amongst the action throughout.

But with the South Australian side sitting out the current ACL competition, Dodd and his team-mates were given a much-needed five-week break before beginning preseason a fortnight ago.

Dodd said he needed to 'mentally refresh' after a 'massive' couple of years.

"I thought after a week or two I'd be itching to come back but I went away with the kids for a week and went away with my wife and a couple of friends for another two weeks and it was fantastic to be honest," he said.

"Not once did I think about football, it was only when I came back from holidays and I had phone call when I got back into the country asking what was happening with the club. It was good not to deal with anything for the whole time."

And after returning from the break, Dodd said he was relieved the coaching staff were easing the players back into action.

"We had a week of testing and then we had our first solid week of training and then this week," he said.

"It's been pretty good so far, we are working our way into it which is good, they don't come out and start smashing us from day one ...and there's a lot of ball work out there so the boys are pretty happy to be there."

While happy with the respite, Dodd said there were mixed emotions about missing out on the current ACL competition.

"I think the positives are more for my wife, she's happy I won't be going away as much. I guess the negatives are you have a longer pre-season," he said.

"We are enjoying something different being able to have a solid base and I guess the positive is we have a longer off-season and we got to have a holiday."

"It's always good to play in the Champions League and we'll definitely be looking forward to competing in it a third time."

Adelaide's playing workload may have reduced but Dodd's leadership commitments are sure to be tested in the 2009-10 Hyundai A-League season. The 29-year-old has lost some handy allies during the off-season with former United captains Michael Valkanis and Paul Agostino retiring and Ang Costanzo signing with the Newcastle Jets.

Dodd said he was looking forward to his second year as skipper.

"That's something I thought about a little bit after speaking to Viddie towards the end of the season in what he expects from me in regards to on the field and off the field, at training, during the games, off the field with the boys," he said.

"That's something I'm a lot clearer on this year and I've got a lot more confidence in myself that I'll be able to carry that out myself as well."