Season Preview: Adelaide United

We preview the season ahead for Adelaide United as the Reds look to improve on their sixth placed finish from the 2012/13 season.

We preview the season ahead for Adelaide United as the Reds look to improve on their fourth place finish from the 2012/13 season.

Team The Reds have made a host of off-season moves that will look to return them to the heights they reached in the early editions of the Hyundai A-League. Despite having lost the likes of Socceroos attacker Dario Vidosic and defensive stalwart Iain Fyfe, Adelaide fans will be excited by the competition that will be created by the club-s new arrivals.

Socceroo Michael Zullo will return to the A-League on loan from Dutch club FC Utrecht and with a World Cup around the corner the 25-year-old will be looking to impress. The arrival of a couple of Spaniards will also have the Reds diehards brimming with optimism as 26-year-old midfielder Isaias Sanchez and 28-year-old attacker Sergio Cirio will aim to be catalysts for the success of the club-s new football philosophy.

Newly re-appointed captain Eugene Galekovic will look to build on his status as one of the best keepers in the league while a centre back-line built on the experience of Foxtel All Stars representative Nigel Boogard and Jon McKain will aim to repel the league-s lethal attacking weapons in front of goal.

Manager Spanish coach Josep Gombau was another of the Reds off-season signings as he arrived with promises of bringing some of his home nation-s football flair to the Hyundai A-League. Having previously held coaching roles within the youth teams of Barcelona, Gombau is aiming to implement a possession-based style of game in South Australia. With a number of additions to his squad and a solid off-season to put his plans into fruition, only time will tell if Gombau can bring his vision of the beautiful game to Australia.

Star player

Eugene Galekovic is arguably the Hyundai A-League-s number one, number one. Having begun his A-League career with the Victory, he has been with the Reds since the start of the 2007-08 season and has been a model of consistency in his 139 appearances as Adelaide-s shot stopper. Last season saw Galekovic keep 8 clean sheets in his 25 appearances as the club conceded 37 goals. This is a mark that the Reds captain will be aiming to improve on if he is to lead his side to the top with the league-s top two teams of 2012/13, in the Wanderers and Mariners, only letting in 21 and 22 goals respectively.

Buoyed by his role in the Socceroos mid-year East Asian Cup campaign, Galekovic will be aiming to impress not only his new coach, Reds teammates and Adelaide fans but also catch the attention of national coach Holger Osieck as the World Cup draws near. With more and more A-League players getting the opportunity to wear the green and gold it would appear Galekovic will fight it out with European based trio Mark Schwarzer, Mat Ryan and Mitch Langerak for a ticket on the plane to Brazil.

Fans The Adelaide United fans would raise the roof off Hindmarsh stadium if it had one. The locals love their football and since the club was inaugurated in the dying stages of the NSL the fans have always turned out in their droves. Led by the Red Army supporter group, the United faithful will be aiming to push their team towards the top of the table in 2013/14.

Ins and Outs

In Michael Zullo (loaned from FC Utrecht) Tarek Elrich (from Western Sydney Wanderers) Isaias Sanchez (from Ponferradina, Spain) Sergio Cirio (from Hospitalet, Spain) Steven Lustica (from Hajduk Split, Croatia) Jordan Elsey (elevated from youth side) Awer Mabil (elevated from youth side)

Out Dario Vidosic (to FC Sion, Switzerland) Iain Fyfe (to Mes Kerman, Iran) Iain Ramsay (to Melbourne Heart) Tomi Juric (to Western Sydney Wanderers) Fabian Barbiero (to Croydon Kings, South Australian Premier League) Evan Kostopoulos (released)