La Rocca and Reds begin pre-season


Following Adelaide United’s official commencement of pre-season training, new signing, Iacopo La Rocca, stated his ambitions for the upcoming season.

After officially meeting up with his new teammates for the first time, Iacopo La Rocca spoke ahead of the new Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season and described his elation at joining the Reds.

“I received a call from the club and I was more than happy to come here because (this squad) plays the best football in Australia so I’m excited to be part of this team,” La Rocca said. 

A former Western Sydney Wanderers player, La Rocca went on to say how although he has only officially been a United play for a couple of days, the differences between the two clubs couldn’t be greater.

“It’s just been two days that I’ve been here (in Adelaide) and I’ve already seen that we play completely different to (my former club, Western Sydney Wanderers),” La Rocca explained.

“I can see all the players respect all the coaching staff and this is very important.

“I spoke with (my former teammate) Tarek (Elrich) before I came here and he told me only good things about the coach, about the trainings, about the style and it’s a different Tarek that I’m seeing here than at Wanderers.

“Tarek told me about the change room and the other boys and I’ve seen just a little bit, but it’s enough to know the team is very (unified), which they show through how they played last season.

“I’m really looking forward to playing for this club, but now it’s up to me to show to the coach how well I can play, then it’ll be up to him to make the decisions about the team.”


Speaking about acquisition of La Rocca into his squad, United manager, Josep Gombau, explained how vital the Reds’ new no. 3 will prove through his defensive versatility and experience in the A-League, but also in the AFC Asian Champions League, which he won during his time at the Wanderers.

“We’re so happy (to have signed Iacopo),” Gombau said.

“Iacopo is a player that can bring us a lot of things and he’s an experienced winner.

“He won the (A-League Premiership) in his first year (at Western Sydney) and also won the Asian Champions League last year. 

“He can play for us in two defensive positions, as a central defender as well as a defensive midfielder and this is something that for us has very big value because we don’t have a lot of players in the squad in these positions at the moment.”

Switching focus, Gombau went on to describe how crucial his side’s pre-season preparations will be prior to the new season, saying the prearranged friendly fixtures against Liverpool FC and Manchester City are the perfect way to test his Reds against the best.

“We came back just this week but I think we are in a good way,” Gombau continued.

“Now we’ll train and prepare for our upcoming (pre-season) games, but we’re also thinking about our preparations for the next season.

“It’s amazing to play against two big teams (Liverpool and Manchester City) in five days. This is something that might not happen again (for a while) and we are excited for this.

“We need to do our job by playing our style and try to be competitive by playing our football because this is the way we want to play. We need to show that we are a team that knows what we’re doing and that we’re tactically correct.”

Gombau finished by saying how the club is currently conducting negations with players in the hope of adding to his already bolstered line-up.

“We want to add one or two more players to the squad and we know what we want.

“At this moment we’re having discussions (with people to try and bring these players to the club) and I hope we can add more value to our team and be stronger.”