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Grove talks her own form and Reds’ recent resurgence

Annalee Grove

After registering a second consecutive clean sheet last Friday night, Annalee Grove is arguably in career-best form.

Adelaide United produced its most complete display of the Liberty A-League 2021/22 season courtesy of a dominant 3-0 win away to Western Sydney Wanderers.

The goalkeeper was also instrumental in the result too, ensuring the Reds went into the break 1-0 up following a stunning, diving save before half-time.

Grove discussed her form and believed it has also coincided with the team’s overall improvement defensively.

“I think I’ve been playing really well at the moment,” Grove said, after helping Adelaide secure back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since November 2018.

“But I think that’s also from a team aspect, we’ve been practicing really well in our defensive aspects at training at the moment.

“I think that comes with a bit of experience throughout the season. We’ve learned from our mistakes and I think we’ve capitalised on our chances that we’ve had throughout the last couple of weeks.”

Following the comprehensive victory, Grove hoped they could continue that momentum heading into the business end of the season.

The South Australians have won four of their previous five matches to climb into third spot on the ladder.

“You can’t really fault any of the girls at the moment especially from the Wanderers game,” she said, as the Reds have collected maximum points in their previous two games.

“All round I think everybody did their job and it really paid off in the end.

“Having that second clean sheet in a row and also 3-0 away in Sydney I think we haven’t done that in a while, it’s really boosting our confidence heading into the second half of the season.”

Having been on the books of Newcastle Jets, Brisbane Roar and Canberra United, the 20-year-old joined the Reds ahead of 2020/21.

She served as the second-choice ‘keeper behind Sian Fryer-McLaren but ended up making her Liberty A-League debut, finishing with two appearances.

Now into her fourth full season in the league, Grove has started all eight matches this term and said the competition amongst the goalkeeping union within the squad has made her better.

“I think it’s a team within a team,” she explained.

“Every team kind of has their goalkeeper group and I think this year we work really well together. We push each other and we learn off each other as well.

“But I think also having those couple of years’ experience as the second keeper has really helped in the fact that I do have that experience.

“It may not be on the field, but I think working with all the goalkeepers that I’ve worked under in the last couple of years have all contributed to me being able to play the way I’m playing.

“I’m really happy with how I’m playing at the moment and hopefully the team and the goalkeepers around me keep pushing me to perform at my best.”

Adelaide returns to Coopers Stadium to face Newcastle Jets as part of a double header on Friday night.

“It’s always great to play at Coopers,” she said.

“The pitch there is really great and the facilities are really nice.

“I think if we can continue our run into the second half of the season, it would be really good.

“If we could bag a few more goals, maybe another clean sheet would be really nice too.

“But I think if we just stick to our game plan at training and implement that within the game, we should get some really nice results.”