Adelaide United has started the W-League season with a bang, currently sitting in third position and if the campaign ended today, it would see the Reds land their first top four finish in the club’s history.
United have been a part of the competition since its inception in 2008 but are yet to qualify for the W-League finals, a record that coach Adrian Stenta would love to see end in 2021.
His side have started well, recording two wins from their three games, but this is not the first time in recent memory that United have begun the season in a positive fashion.
The 2018/19 season saw the Reds remain unbeaten through their first five games, however a dip in form at the end of the campaign saw them lose three of their last four, resulting in a sixth place finish, two spots outside of finals contention.
Stenta has praised the performance of his side recently however knows that there is no room for complacency, particularly in such an even competition.
“I think we’ve made good progress so far,” he said.
“It was good to see the girls respond to a disappointing loss in round one.
“I don’t think we’re going to have issues with complacency and I think the main reason behind that is because we’ve got a really strong squad.
“We go deep this year and we just can’t afford to have players be complacent because they’ll miss out on playing if that’s the case.”
The Reds run into reigning champions Melbourne City this week in a game that will be a stern test for a young United side.
City have struggled with form to begin their campaign however those inside the Adelaide camp know not to underestimate a team with such quality and championship pedigree.
“We’re not going to take them lightly at all and I wouldn’t read too much into their start,” Stenta said of Melbourne City.
“They’ve got some quality players in the squad.
“We know they’re going to be a difficult side to play against so I’m looking forward to another closely fought contest.”
One of the bright sparks of Adelaide’s winning start has been 22-year-old midfielder Emily Condon.
Condon found the back of the net in both encounters with Perth Glory and is proving to be a handful for opposition sides.
Despite her youth, Emily is one of the most experienced members of the Adelaide United squad, having played over 50 games for the club.
She sits in third position in the all-time appearances list for the Reds and is looking to build on such a strong start to the year.
“It’s a pretty good start to the season,” Condon said.
“I think last year we only managed two wins so to have them at the start of the season this year is very good.
“At the moment I’m pretty happy with how I’m going, always happy to get some goals as well.
“Hopefully I keep up the good form and the team keeps playing well and then hopefully we get a couple more wins under our belt.”
City were tipped by many to go all the way again this year and have talent scattered across their list, including a number of former Adelaide United players.
When asked about the chance to play against some familiar faces, Condon smiled.
“It’s always good to come up against former teammates or players you’ve played with and against before,” she said
“I think we know very well how they play and what their strengths and weaknesses, so I guess we’ll try and counteract that.”
Like Stenta, Emily knows not to underestimate the competition, showing that she and her teammates are locked in and focussed on bringing success to Adelaide in season 2021.
“Obviously going into the game, we’re not going to underestimate them like we wouldn’t any other team,” Condon said of City.
“We’re aware of their strengths so its going to be a very tough game but we can only do our best and then go from there.
“We’re going to have to come out and play our best. We need to fight for the 90 minutes but just take away the positive from the first three games and just build on them really.”
The match kicks off at 6:35 pm this Thursday (January 21) at the Marden Sports Complex.
A win would see United propel themselves even further into finals contention so there is no doubt that Stenta and the Reds will be giving it their all to impress the home fans.