McKain eyes first up win


Jon McKain says the Reds head west for their season opener against Perth Glory on Sunday at nib Stadium with their sights set on nothing less than a win.

Adelaide United FC captain Jon McKain says the Reds head west for their season opener against Perth Glory on Sunday 9 October 2011 at nib Stadium with their sights set on returning home with nothing less than a win.

All of the hype and build up to arguably the most anticipated Hyundai A-League season yet is finally over. Now it is down to business and McKain, in his first official match as the Reds- new skipper, cannot wait to lead the team out for the season proper.

United-s opponents on Sunday go into season seven with a vastly new looking squad, and McKain knows the team from the west will be eager to start their campaign off at home in winning style.

However, the Qantas Socceroos defender, whose last Hyundai A-League match came back in the 2009/10 season for the Wellington Phoenix, is adamant that the Reds will hold nothing back for the clash.

“We-ll go in trying to win this game, that-s the goal,” McKain said.

“Obviously we want to have a successful season, and we don-t really think any trip away or at home is out of reach for us to get three points.”

“There-s going to be circumstances, conditions and other factors that will affect a game, but for this game we-re going in confident.”

In addition to seeing how both new look teams shape up, there is also the added intrigue in Sunday-s contest of McKain and the Reds going up against Travis Dodd and Adam Hughes, who were both at United last season before joining the Glory.

“Obviously it-s an interesting start (to the season) for us. There are some big games this weekend with Melbourne versus Sydney and the rematch of the Grand Final, but I think Perth is similar to us, they-ve recruited well in the off season, there-s a lot of expectation on them to improve on what they said was a disappointing year last season, so I think it-s a good game for us to get first up and there are a few ex-players from here that play there now so that will add a bit of spice to the encounter,” McKain said.

Due to Head Coach Rini Coolen-s strong off season recruiting, which included the addition of McKain and a plethora of other talent, the Reds are being touted early on as one of the serious championship contenders. But while having this pressure hanging over their heads may appear somewhat daunting, McKain says the playing group is more than comfortable carrying the expectations.

“We-ve talked amongst the group what we want to achieve. Last year the club finished third on the table and we think we can improve on that,” McKain said.

“Hopefully during the season we-ll show our qualities and we-ll be thereabouts, but every team in the league has recruited well and as we-ve seen in the past few seasons this league is very tight, the little things do make a difference, so hopefully we get a little bit of luck on our way and we can be there come late March.”

Positively for Coolen, he has a near full squad to choose from, with only Nigel Boogaard and Fabian Barbiero not in consideration for the match. With nine new faces in the squad, McKain believes a key focus for the Reds on Sunday will be on the continual understanding and combinations between the players on the field.

“Everyone is ready to go now and it-s just a matter of us getting these games under way and gelling as a team, that-s going to be the hardest thing for us,” McKain said.

“As a group we-ll be successful if everyone-s committed and wanting to do well and pushing each other. Competition is healthy and Rini has bought in quality in a lot of positions and we need everyone pushing each other, it-s as simple as that.”

McKain missed the Reds- training session today due to general soreness, but he was quick to reassure any doubters about whether he would be ready to go on Sunday.

“There-s no story, just a bit of maintenance so to speak…but I-m ready to go,” he said.

The Reds will have a final training session early tomorrow afternoon before departing for Perth ahead of Sunday-s 7.00pm (ACDT) kick-off.

Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season – Week 1
Perth Glory v Adelaide United FC

Sunday 9 October 2011, nib Stadium
Kick-Off: 4.30pm AWST (7.00pm ACDT)
Referee: Jarred Gillett

TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1
Radio: ABC Radio (891 ABC Adelaide, ABC SA, Grandstand Digital, online at www.abc.net.au/adelaide)

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (Gk), 2.Osama MALIK, 4.Jon McKain (c), 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.Evgeniy LEVCHENKO, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Ricardo DA SILVA, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Spase DILEVSKI, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR, 22.Milan SUSAK, 23.Andy SLORY
*four to be omitted*

In: Zenon Caravella (Gold Coast United), Bruce Djite (Gold Coast United), Spase Dilveski (Universitatea Craiova, Romania), Dario Vidosic (FC Nuremberg, Germany), Jon McKain (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia), Evgeniy Levchenko (Willen II, Netherlands), Ricardo Da Silva (Adelaide City), Milan Susak (Minangkabau FC), Antony Golec (Sydney United)
Unavailable: Nigel BOOGAARD (ankle – 4 weeks)

Perth Glory: 1.Danny VUKOVIC, 2.Josh MITCHELL, 3.Bas Van Den BRINK, 4.Billy MEHMET, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Liam MILLER, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Travis DODD, 14.Steven Mcgarry, 15.Tommy AMPHLETT, 16.Evan BERGER, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 18.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Neil YOUNG, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 22.Adam TAGGART, 27.ANDREZINHO
*five to be omitted*

In: Joshua Risdon (Promoted from NYL), Adam Taggart (Promoted from NYL), Travis Dodd (Adelaide United), Danny Vukovic (Wellington Phoenix), Evan Berger (Melbourne Victory), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Adam Hughes (Adelaide United), Neil Young (Newcastle Jets), Sebastiaan Van Den Brink (Busan I-Park, South Korea), Liam Miller (Hibernian, Scotland), Andrezinho (Consadole Sapporo, Japan), Jesse Makarounas (AIS)
Unavailable: Victor SIKORA (hip – long term injury list)

Adelaide United vs. Perth Glory – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record
Played 18 – 10 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses

22-Dec-2010… L 2-4… 2010/11 Midweek (nib Stadium)
10-Nov-2010… W 2-0… 2010/11 Midweek (Hindmarsh Stadium)
24-Sep-2010… W 2-0… 2010/11 Wk 8 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
19-Jan-2010… L 2-3… 2009/10 Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
9-Oct-2009… L 0-1… 2009/10 Rd 10 (nib Stadium)
7-Aug-2009… W 1-0… 2009/10 Rd 1 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
26-Dec-2008… W 1-0… 2008/09 Rd 17 (nib Stadium)
26-Oct-2008… W 2-1… 2008/09 Rd 9 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
17-Aug-2008… W 1-0… 2008/09 Rd 1 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
13-Jan-2008… L 2-3… 2007/08 Rd 20 (nib Stadium)
23-Nov-2007… D 1-1… 2007/08 Rd14 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
7-Oct-2007… D 0-0… 2007/08 Rd7 (nib Stadium)
28-Dec-2006… D 0-0… 2006/07 Rd18 (nib Stadium)
5-Nov-2006… W 3-2… 2006/07 Rd11 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
16-Sep-2006… W 3-0… 2006/07 Rd4 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
12-Jan-2006… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd18 (nib Stadium)
6-Nov-2005… L 2-4… 2005/06 Rd11 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
17-Sep-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd4 (nib Stadium)

At nib Stadium
Played 8; Adelaide United 3, Perth Glory 3, Draws 2

At Hindmarsh Stadium
Played 10; Adelaide United 7, Perth Glory 2, Draws 1

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League
22-Dec-2010 Midweek fixture, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at nib Stadium
Perth Glory 4 (Coyne 6-, Sterjovski 35-, Fowler 67-/77- (pen))
Adelaide United 2 (Keenan 22-, van Dijk 51-)