Dodd: This club has been such a big part of my life

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Former Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd has opened up about his unexpected departure from the club more than a decade ago, and the reason he remains a Red at heart.

Dodd, who played 183 games for Adelaide United and bagged 41 goals, left in 2011 in a cloud of controversy to join Perth.

Speaking on the Reds Radio podcast hosted by Jarrod Walsh, Dodd explained that he was surprised to only be offered a one-year contract to remain with Adelaide, despite being its games record holder and skipper at the time.

While he was still 31 and feeling fit after an injury-interrupted season, his time in Adelaide ended abruptly.

“It was under previous ownership, we’d had a new coach come in – Rini Coolen – and I was also coming into the last year of my contract as captain of the club, but had a long-term injury, osteitis pubis, which I’d had surgery for in that offseason,” Dodd said on the podcast.

“I think I ended up missing the first 10 games of the season and then came off the bench a few times. I thought everything was going well and then we get into the finals.

“I had an agent at the time and asked him to start reaching out to the club to see where we were going and what was happening. My intention, I would have loved to have seen out my career at Adelaide United but I think to be completely honest, it was pretty clear from the get go, that I wasn’t going to be around at the club for the following season.

“The club did offer me a contract but based at that point in time, the metrics around what they were offering as captain of the club – one point because I was over 30, they (said they) could only offer me one year because that’s what they do in the AFL, which was a really foreign concept to me, but I think it was a concept that came from the ownership at the time having that background in Aussie Rules.”

After the club was knocked out of the finals series by Gold Coast United, things came to a head.

“I remember getting called into the club the next day by the football director at the time, Michael Petrillo, and he said to me, ‘look, there was a contract on the table, but they withdrew the contract’,” Dodd recalled.

“So that was it, basically the decision was made for me. And I guess in the meantime, I had negotiations with Perth.”

Initially the Glory thought Dodd was only using the negotiations for leverage to bump up any contract from Adelaide United and he had to demonstrate to then coach Ian Ferguson that he was genuine.

He said people often forget that playing football for players is a job and a means to support their families.

“A lot of people said to me over the years, and particularly at the time that I left for money, now, there’s no doubt that I did leave and get paid more money. But that wasn’t the reason that I left,” Dodd continued.

“Unfortunately, I learned at that point in time, and I was 31 at the time, that we’re all commodities within a business. Once you’re past your use by date, you get moved on. And it was a business decision.

“It was hard to understand. I look at that now and I understand it. Do I like it? Do I agree with it? Not really. But it’s part and parcel of football.

“Could it have been handled better? Probably, that’s the most important thing to come out of it is that it should have been handled better.”

Dodd is now back involved at the club, including this weekend taking part in a special curtain raiser match featuring a host of Adelaide United legends taking on an Australian Defence Force select side made up of the best players from across the nation of Navy, Air Force and Army personnel.

He is looking forward to taking the field with former teammates like Lucas Pantelis, Marcos Flores, Jason Spagnuolo and Iain Fyfe.

“Time heals everything,” Dodd smiled. “I came back from Perth, I’ve been back now for eight years.

“And with (CEO) Nathan (Kosmina) at the club, and even former chairman, Piet (van der Pol) and now Ned (Morris), I had a good chat with Ned really wanting to engage with past players and really mend those relationships moving forward, which is, is great to see.

“This club has been such a big part of my life that why wouldn’t I want to do that and be involved.”

The Adelaide United legends v ADF select match will be played at 4:30pm on Saturday at Coopers Stadium, before Adelaide United’s Isuzu UTE A-League men’s side takes on Sydney FC from 7:15pm in a special Remembrance Day game.

Tickets are available HERE.

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