After Adelaide United clinched the FFA Cup last season, Riley McGree insists the Reds are determined to defend their title ahead of their Round of 32 meeting with Melbourne Knights on Wednesday night.
Adelaide will play their maiden competitive match of the 2019/20 season in what will be Gertjan Verbeek’s first official game in charge.
The Reds became the first team to win the tournament twice following a 2-1 victory over Sydney FC in 2018 and will be aiming to lift the cup for a record third time.
“It’s definitely a very important pre-season competition for us and we’re defending champions and have won it twice before,” McGree told reporters at Adelaide Airport.
“So we want to do that again and our intention is to go all the way and win it.”
The 20-year-old, who returned to the Club on a three-year contract last month, said the coaching staff have done their due diligence, studying the Knights’ strengths.
“I think our coaching staff have done what they can to get as much information as they can about the team we’re going to play,” he said.
“We just prepare like we do any other game, we have a game plan for ourselves and with the information we have we go out and try and put that to work on the field.”
Melbourne currently sit seventh on the National Premier League Victoria ladder with 31 points, and suffered a 2-0 loss to Kingston City at the weekend.
For the Reds, however, they have played two pre-season friendlies against local NPL SA sides, defeating both MetroStars and Raiders as well as an internal.
McGree felt the team was heading in the right direction under Verbeek’s guidance and are ready to implement what the Dutchman has imparted on them.
“I think as a squad we’ve definitely adapted to the way the new coach wants to play,” he said.
“I think we’re capable and we’ve the players to do so. It’s only been a few weeks but we’re ready and we’ve taken on board as much as we can.”
FFA Cup Record
2014 – Round of 32
2015 – Did not qualify
2016 – Round of 16
2017 – Did not qualify
2018 – Did not qualify
2014 – Champions
2015 – Quarter finals
2016 – Round of 32
2017 – Runners-up
2018 – Champions
Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.