Reds legends reminisce on most talented teammates


Adelaide United royalty joined Jarrod Walsh for episode 2 of The Pitch at Home, brought to you by RAA.

Reds legends, Michael Valkanis, Angelo Costanzo and Travis Dodd reminisced on their time at the Club and their lives after football among other topics.

The trio shared their thoughts on some of their most talented teammates at United, with Valkanis also discussing the team’s knack of punching above its weight.

Valkanis accumulated 90 appearances for the Reds, scoring four goals and was renowned for his leadership qualities and skill in reading the game as a central defender.

The centre-back revealed he looks back at those early years in Adelaide with immense fondness.

“We had a great time all of us,” Valkanis, now an assistant coach of the Greece National Team, said from Athens.

“I think we had really good squads. From day one, the inaugural season, it was exciting times in the first year in the NSL (National Soccer League).

“But then once the A-League started it was really good.

“I think we enjoyed each other’s company and we had some really good teams, good squads that did really well.

“And I think a lot of people had written us off a lot of seasons at the beginning and we were right up there always competing for finals football.”

A formidable centre-back and adept at playing as a defensive midfielder, Costanzo was known for his excellent distribution and tackling ability.

He believed Brazil icon and 1994 FIFA World Cup winner, Romário was the “biggest name” he rubbed shoulders with during his time as a Red.

The former PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona star joined the South Australian outfit in November 2006 on a short guest stint.

“The biggest name was probably Romário,” Costanzo said, who played 92 games for Adelaide between 2005 and 2009.

“I think we all played with Romário when he was here.

“He was probably at the back end of his career, but it was always a pleasure to play with someone like that.”

Meanwhile, Dodd, deemed the likes of Marcos Flores, as well as Shengqing Qu and Fernando Rech as some of the best he has shared the field with during his six seasons in the city of churches.

Flores scored nine goals on route to clinching the Johnny Warren Medal following a mesmerising 2010/11 Hyundai A-League season.

Qu and Rech forged an impressive partnership in attack during the 2005/06 campaign as Adelaide lifted the inaugural Premier’s Plate.

“I reckon probably Marcos Flores,” the ex-captain claimed, who is the second-highest goal scorer in the Club’s history with 39 strikes in 166 matches.

“Look to be honest, there’s been quite a few. There’s Marcos, the two boys here (Angelo Costanzo and Michael Valkanis).

“But even Shengqing Qu and Fernando Rech, they were unbelievable players in their own right.”