by Ben Gilby (3/3/23)
It will be a much-changed Adelaide United squad that travels to Canberra this weekend in a bid to end their winless streak.
With the South Australian side currently on a run of eight games without a win, scoring just four goals in the process (with a tally of only nine for the whole season), it is not going to get any easier.
This week the club lost striker Chelsie Dawber who was recalled by her NWSL side Chicago Red Stars and immediately loaned out to Damallsvenskan outfit IFK Norrköping who are about to start their new season. She told the Swedish team’s media officer about the move:
Also missing will be Dawber’s fellow attacker Emilia Murray who is on Young Matildas duty with teammate Grace Wilson. Sasha Coorey is still out with a knee injury. In a bid to plug the gaps, Adelaide United have added Hannah Holgersen and Erin Kontoutsikos to its squad on short-term contracts. Both players have been added to the extended squad for the trip to the national capital.
Holgersen is a 25-year-old Danish striker who has made 10 appearances for Aarhus GF in the top tier of the sport in Denmark. Kontoutsikos is a product of the Football SA NTC side.
Adelaide United’s Dylan Holmes has backed her side to build on their efforts at Melbourne Victory last weekend when they look to record their first win of 2023 at Canberra United tomorrow.
Speaking to the media today, Holmes reflected on that match last week: “Overall it was definitely a frustrating result, but there are a lot of positives that we can take out of the game, leading after going behind. We have had problems scoring this season, so that was a good thing.
“We showed some great resilience. Conceding a goal early is hard to take, but we bounced back. It feels like every goal against us is a freak one. Annie (Annalee Grove) is having a great season for us, and anyone who knows how much work she put in during pre-season won’t be surprised to see how she is doing. She has stood up at key moments for us.”
Asked about Adelaide United’s poor current run of results, Holmes said: “Through the course of the season, in games we have lost, we have been competitive and mixing it with the best. It’s been us not taking chances and the other team taking their chances.”
In tandem with losing two of their key attacking players for the trip to Canberra, Holmes and her team mates also face a home side who are in superb form.
“Canberra are a great side. In the last few weeks, they have hit good form and are scoring a lot of goals. Canberra is always a tough place to go and play. It should be a really good game. It is a must-win for both teams.”
Whilst the Reds are currently doing it tough, the midfielder believes the number of youngsters being blooded this season means better times are ahead in South Australia.
“Since January we have been struggling a bit. The great thing is we have some really young South Australian girls who will hopefully be around for the coming years, so the future looks bright. At the current time, results are not going our way, so some of the older ones can try and help develop the younger ones so we are even stronger next year.”
On-loan Newcastle Jets midfielder Emily Roach has told the media this week that she is looking to combine playing minutes with a successful end to the season with Gary van Egmond’s side, despite a tough baptism on her debut.
Roach was part of the Jets side that went down 6-0 to league leaders Western United at home last weekend. She has mixed emotions about the afternoon, saying: “It was a tough one, but great to get out on the field in front of all the fans. That was awesome, (but) we need to be a lot better than last weekend.
“I prefer playing in the midfield, I played at nine (against Western United), but it was great to be out there. I think I did alright. Western United are a really, really good team, so it was tough to get the ball.”
The midfielder, a Queensland native moved to Canberra United for this season but found it a challenge to break into their starting line-up. “Canberra United’s squad is so unreal, there is so much talent,” Roach said. “I just want to get some game time, so I’m here for the last six games of the season.”
Despite a tough period for the Jets, their new signing sees a real desire within the squad to put things right and move away from the wooden spoon battle.
“Everyone is so positive still. The girls are not the kind to jump on each other after a loss. We’re still working hard in training every day to make sure we don’t get another result like that.”