Johan Absalonsen (att) Sonderjyske; George Blackwood (att) Syndey FC; Paul Izzo (gk) Central Coast Mariners; Vince Lia (mid) Wellington Phoenix; Karim Matmour (mid) 1860 Munchen; Ersan Gulum (def) Hebei CF (CHN) – on loan; Daniel Adlung (mid) 1860 Munchen;
Riley McGree (r) (mid) Club Brugge; Sergio Cirio (r) (att) FC Ibiza; Dylan McGowan (r) (def) Pacos Ferreira; Iacopo La Rocca (sp) (def) Melbourne City; Marcelo Carrusca (r) (mid) Melbourne City; Eugene Galekovic (k) (gk) Melbourne City; John Hall (sp) (gk) Western Sydney Wanderers; Eli Babalj (att) Mlada Bolseslav; George Mells (sp) (mid) released; Jesse Makarounas (sp) (mid) released; Kim Jae-Sung (k) (mid) released; Mate Dugandzic (sp) (att) released; Marc Marino (sp) (att) released;
After a dreadful defence of their title Adelaide expectedly decided to refresh things over the summer and they parted ways with the title-winning coach Guilherme Amor, appointing the German specialist Marco Kurz in charge.
Kurz is already receiving high praise from players, pundits and fans for what he is doing at the club and one thing that everyone agrees is that Adelaide will most likely be the fittest squad in this season’s A-League as most of their summer training was heavily focused on the fitness levels of everyone in the squad.
Kurz parted ways with many trusted warriors from years past, his biggest regret was the departure of the bright young talent McGree, but the gaffer used his connections to bring in some really classy players.
Izzo was signed to be the new star between the sticks for years to come, while the arrival of the vastly experience centre-back Gulum means that the entire back line will be orchestrated by him.
Adelaide are expected to control the midfield in many of their games as they signed some really good players in this area. Added to that captain Isaias and the likely breakthrough new star O’Doherty the Reds look reliable and covered for any eventuality in this part of the pitch.
Things are not so well balanced up front where three very good first-choice options are available, but no obvious cover is to be signed yet. Baba Diawara is the only typical centre forward in the squad and, if fit, he should be playing every minute of the season. His main support up front will be the newly recruited wingers Matmour and Absalonsen, who at least have some back-up options for their positions in the face of youngsters Blackwood, Kitto and Mileusnic.
Coach Kurz already made his ideas clear in the pre-season friendlies and this campaign Adelaide will look a lot like an European squad – very disciplined back line at all times, combined with high counter-pressing from the forward players when they are not in possession. This is expected to see Adelaide stealing many balls high up the pitch and they key will be what they will do with them once they are in possession.
Adelaide are hoping for improved season and their goal is a top six finish and return to the play-offs, which could be achieved if the few key players in the squad avoid injury problems.