Adelaide embrace new challenges as Westfield W-League landmark looms
In a Westfield W-League season booming with success stories, Adelaide United’s rise stands out as one of the high points.
For so long they were the league's perennial cellar-dwellers, but now the Reds are now one of the toughest Westfield W-League nuts to crack.
The reversal in fortunes has been profound. Prior to this season, Adelaide had not finished a campaign outside the bottom three.
But it is an upturn which has spawned new trials and tribulations for the Reds, and boss Ivan Karlovic.
“It’s another challenge for the group, you have to go into games where you’re expecting to win,” he told the club’s website.
“That’s another challenge and something that we have to learn to improve and develop. The team has had to improve and develop a lot this year and come across so many new challenges.
“For us it’s a learning curve and in this league, you need to be at your best in every single game.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, what team you’ve got on paper, results over the course of the year have shown that.”
Adelaide have mounted their best ever points tally this season and are well poised to make a maiden Finals Series appearance.
The presence of in-form forward Veronica Latsko and experienced Westfield Matildas Michelle Heyman will aid that cause, as will a favourable run of three home matches.
Currently sitting fifth and outside the finals on goal difference, Adelaide will look to build momentum for their Finals charge with a home match against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
Importantly, the Reds must respond from a disappointing 1-0 loss to Canberra United last Sunday to ensure a landmark season for the club receives the climax it deserves.
“We were disappointed, obviously they’ve got a good record at home where I thought we were just slightly off where we needed to be,” Karlovic said following the loss.
“I think Canberra played a game at a level where they needed to save their season to keep their season alive and I think that was the difference today.
“[I think] when we went a goal down we started to play, the first 15 minutes we were quite positive it was just that period through the middle of the game that let us down.”