Andrioli and the balancing act of NPL run-in

Adelaide United Youth Head Coach, Airton Andrioli has welcomed the current two-week break as a chance for his players to refresh after a heavy schedule.
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Adelaide United Youth Head Coach, Airton Andrioli has welcomed the current two-week break as a chance for his players to refresh after a heavy schedule.

While the results have not gone the way of the Reds’ Seniors since May, the increase in opportunity and game time for younger members through Adelaide’s ranks has given Andrioli cause to believe that a change in fortune is not far away.

“It’s not been our best few months of football results-wise, and we accept that, but not much has changed in our approach and we have enjoyed giving opportunities to younger players to see how they cope in these pressure situations,” Andrioli admitted.

“It’s been quite challenging, and we’ve had a few instances regarding send offs, yellow cards, injuries, and international call-ups, which are just facts and not excuses, but it has stretched us and we’re looking forward to a bit of a break to refresh those young boys and hopefully consolidate our position in the top six when we return.

“All in all, it’s still quite exciting to see the different scenarios we find ourselves in week-to-week and a lot of players are showing their potential for the future, which is what we are all about.”

United’s Seniors were reduced to 10 men inside 15 minutes against a formidable Campbelltown side in Round 20 and could only claw back a late consolation through Giuseppe Bovalina in a 1-3 loss.

It means they are in fifth place, three points ahead of Croydon FC and with the two to meet on the League’s return next weekend.

Meanwhile United’s Reserves have enjoyed a strong month of football that has them currently placed in sixth position and in contention for finals.

They last claimed a 2-1 win against Sturt in a catch-up game, due to goals from Patrick McGregor and Amlani Tatu.

Another element is the return of United’s Isuzu Ute A-League team to pre-season which includes friendlies against various opposition across South Australia.

It has added a further dynamic for Andrioli and his coaches to consider, given his more experienced NPL players are required for those matches also.

It all creates a delicate balance ahead of the last two games of the NPL regular season.

“With the A-League boys returning to the track we want to keep all of our players training with similar loads so they are coming from the same base level of fitness,” Andrioli explained.

“Our goal was and has been to play finals again because the experience of those matches adds a lot to our growth and experience, and I think we deserve to be there.

“We know that a win in our last two matches will lock in a spot in the finals and that’s what we’ll be fully focused on when we return.”

The NPL competition is currently on a break for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, and United’s Reserves will return via Croydon FC on Saturday, 5 August at 12:15pm at Regency Park, followed by a clash of their Seniors at 2:30pm.

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