Kosmina's Latin experiment

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina opens up on an enduring love for recruiting South American talent.

According to the theory of continental drift, the world was once a single continent before it separated and drifted apart to form the seven continents of today.

At Parramatta Stadium the Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United will ensure the tectonic plates re-collide in a mini battle of continents when Tony Popovic's European contingent clash with John Kosmina's South American stars.

After being announced as the coach of the Wanderers in May, Popovic predominantly signed players from Europe to build the foundations of the squad.

German midfielder Jerome Polenz, Croatian duo Mateo Poljak and Dino Kresinger, Italian defender Iacopo La Rocca and adopted Dutchman Youssouf Hersi all joined to help launch the club in its inaugural A-League season.

But while Popovic is ingraining a European culture into the first-year club, Kosmina has preferred to assemble an Adelaide United team with a Latin flavour.

Argentine pair Jeronimo Neumann and Marcelo Carrusca were signed this season, and while Fabio Ferreira hails from Portugal, the nifty winger possesses South American qualities.

The addition of Neumann and Carrusca continues Kosmina's love affair with South American football which, he recalled, began during his playing days at West Adelaide and Sydney City alongside a number of Latin greats.

In his first spell in charge of Adelaide between 2005-07, Kosmina was responsible for attracting former crowd and samba favourites Fernando Rech and Diego Walsh to the club.

Brazilian legend Romario also featured in an infamous four-match guest stint in 2006 before the likes of Cristiano, Francisco Usucar, former cult hero Marcos Flores, and club stalwart and vice-captain Cassio walked through the door after Kosmina was forced to resign.

The 56-year-old pointed to his initial reign as to when United established a connection and close relationship with South America.

"Adelaide's United's cultural recruitments have been fairly varied, but the South American flavour started to develop back in the first two years of the A-league," Kosmina recalled.

"If you look back to season one that was the beginning of the South American influence, when I brought Fernando Rech back from Brazil after he was with me at Brisbane (Strikers).

"Then we brought Diego Walsh, Romario as a guest player and it grew from there."

Despite exiting the club in February 2007, Kosmina had laid the ground work for successive coaches to scour the incredible depth of South America's talent pool.

Three months later, newly appointed Football Director Michael Petrillo and Kosmina's former right-hand man and replacement as head coach, Aurelio Vidmar, acknowledged the link as a number of South Americans were welcomed to Hindmarsh.

Kosmina credited Petrillo for maintaining Adelaide's affiliation with the world's fourth largest continent in his absence and even in his second coming as Reds coach.

The ex-Sydney FC boss said the strengthened bond and storied history between Adelaide and South America was why the club continues to recruit from the region.

"Michael Petrillo developed good relationships with agents from that part of the world ... but then there has always been a cultural link with clubs in Adelaide and South America," Kosmina said.

"We had a South American, in particular Brazilian influence, which developed and after I left, saw Cassio, Cristiano and Alemao all come to the club.

"An Argentinean influence then started with the recruitment of Flores.

"Infrastructure of the game and finances are not as vibrant as they could be with South America, but in terms of the football it is in a healthy state and there are a lot of good players available.

"They grow up in a football culture and don't have to worry about Aussie rules or rugby league for them to achieve and succeed."

While in most instances Latin players have enjoyed successful and extended careers in the A-League, others haven't been so lucky.

The physicality and pace of the game in Australia has often been the downfall of those who have struggled to adapt, while many are unable to handle the responsibility of a bigger role that involves both pouring forward and rushing back to defend.

Kosmina used the term 'water carrier' which is often associated with South American football to describe players who play a specific role and basically do the dirty work while the attacking geniuses - those that often land on the radar of A-League clubs - are given freedom to roam and express their creativity and flair.

"The game (in Australia) is a lot tougher and is probably even a bit harder (than in South America) because the pace of the game is different," Kosmina said.

"In Argentina for example you might have six or seven water carriers who are ordinary but capable players, with their roles clearly defined. They balance the team, do the basics well, the hard work and the defending, while the classy players like your Marcelo Carruscas for instance will be allowed to be creative.

"These six or seven guys behind are relied on to do their jobs and get the ball to the classy players so they can show their creative flair and instinct and cause problems for the opposition.

"We don't have water carriers here. Everyone is a part of the mix and have their various roles on and off the ball."

Although Kosmina says he is willing to scout the globe for the very best available regardless of nationality, the Australian Football Hall of Famer has been happy with the previous and current Latin infused paths he has taken in foreign recruitment.

"In the first two years Fernando was close to one of the best players in the competition while Diego turned out to be a really valuable player for the club as well," Kosmina said

"I've been happy with the past and I'm happy with the way things have panned out this year. Jeronimo has scored four goals, Marcelo's got three and they are both quality individuals and players.

"They are still learning and will get even better as the season wears on."

Kosmina also paid tribute to Cassio, who has made the second most appearances for the club and recently inked a new two-year deal.

"He's been great. Cass has really come into his own and been outstanding defensively this season.

"He has been invaluable at left-back for us."