Dodd: It’s great to see that the club has got this relationship with the Defence Force

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Travis Dodd is both daunted and excited about getting back out onto Coopers Stadium with some of his former Adelaide United teammates on Saturday.

While he formerly led the club as captain and played in massive games including A-League Grand Finals and in the Asian Champions League, he is very aware of the significance of playing in a friendly against a combined Australian Defence Force side on Remembrance Day.

The Adelaide United Legends side – featuring Fred Agius, Iain Fyfe, Racheal Quigley and Daniel Mullen among a host of other club greats – will be coached by inaugural Reds mentor John Kosmina on Saturday in a curtain raiser to the Isuzu UTE A-League Round 4 match involving Adelaide United and Sydney FC.

The combined Australian Defence Force side has brought together the best players from the Navy, Army and Air Force from across the nation and it trained under the guidance of Reds assistant coach Mark Milligan at Playford on Thursday.

Speaking to the media after that session, Dodd was concerned his side’s fitness levels may not be up to scratch compared with the ADF.

“I’ve been going to the gym a bit in the last couple of weeks and I was saying to somebody before that instead of body moisturiser, I’m lathering myself in Deep Heat because I’m so sore from the training,” Dodd joked.

“We’ve got a training session coming up. I don’t think it’s going to be overly intense. For us, we need to conserve as much energy as possible for Saturday, particularly with the (hot) weather.”

While they might be a bit slower than in their heyday, Dodd and his legends teammates are very aware of how significant their contribution is to Adelaide United’s annual Remembrance Day commemoration.

The Remembrance Round match has become a regular feature of the A-Leagues fixture since it first hosted a game in 2011.

This year, the match against Sydney FC falls on Remembrance Day itself – the 11th of November – which coincides with the armistice that ended World War One in 1918.

In conjunction with the RSL-SA, Remembrance Day will be acknowledged with an official Ceremony of Remembrance before kick off on Saturday night to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

And the legends game will be a fun way to pay tribute to those currently serving.

“It’s great to see that the club has got this relationship with the Defence Force, particularly for Remembrance Round,” Dodd said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to recognise and pay tribute to those before us and those actively serving and to be able to come together and do something like this and play a game as one, I think it’s fantastic.”

The ADF side will be coached by Squadron Leader Ben Cowan, who said his side had been selected during the recent national defence championships and was excited to take to Coopers Stadium to test themselves against some greats of Australian football.

“The Remembrance Day round is something that we’ve been supporting for six years now,” he explained.

“And it’s something that we recognize that from an Adelaide United perspective, we know really value the contribution that defence make, and our ability to play here, this weekend is an opportunity for us to show what the defence force is about beyond the conflict beyond the frontline, so to speak, that we’re members every day that are active that involved in sport, and a chance to commemorate that on Remembrance Day is an ideal opportunity to showcase that.

“The boys are really keen because this is a great opportunity for them. I realise that sometimes with defence personnel, they get taken away for work opportunities, and don’t get these times.

“So when they come to camp, they’re chomping at the bit to get involved and I have to actually rein back in their enthusiasm, because they’re just keen to run about and have a kick and really excited for this opportunity when they come out here, and they see the pitch and who they’re playing.”

The curtain raiser gets underway at 4:30pm with two 30-minute halves to be played.

2023 Adelaide United legends squad

AdamVan Dommele
Gyawe JSalley

Tickets for Saturday night’s match are available through Ticketek. Kick-Off is at 7.15pm ACDT and patrons are encouraged to arrive early for the Legends v ADF curtain raiser at 4:30pm and the official Ceremony of Remembrance.

Anyone with a membership or a valid game-day ticket can travel to the game for free on any Adelaide Metro bus, train or tram.

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