Stenta: ‘I don’t think it’s a game that you need to motivate players for to play in.’

AUFC membership 23/24 sign up now

Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta says the international break came at a good time, enabling his side to regain some valuable experience and leadership.

Captain Isabel Hodgson has been named as part of Stenta’s side for the first time this season, while fellow leadership player Maruschka Waldus has also regained fitness following a leg and foot injury and will travel to Melbourne to face the Victory on Saturday.

The game is part of a double header as the interstate rivals go head-to-head in both the A-League women’s and men’s competitions at AAMI Park.

Speaking to media following training on Friday morning, Stenta said along with the return of Hodgson and Waldus, goalkeeper Annalee Grove had now been cleared of concussion and was giving him plenty to think about before he settles on his starting eleven.

Adrian Stenta on what his side did during the Liberty A-League international break:

“I feel like from the first couple of games, we had a few things to work on. We spent a fair bit of time looking at our defensive structures and principles. And then it also enabled us to get a few more minutes and training time into some of the girls that have been missing. So, we got a little bit healthier across the break as well and that’s always a positive too.”

Adrian Stenta on having leadership players Isabel Hodgon and Maruschka Waldus available for the first time this season after respective injuries:

“Both are in our leadership group, both very experienced players, both great to have around the group as well. So anytime you can welcome strong players from your squad back into the team for the week, it’s a positive.

“It’s only been two games and it’s probably more the fact that not that just they haven’t been there but there’s been so much change in the squad as well. There’s a lot of new faces to try and integrate so it’s probably not so much about the individuals that we’ve missed, although they are both quality individuals, it’s just the impact that it’s had on the turnover of the squad as a whole.”

Adrian Stenta on captain Isabel Hodgson’s excitement to play her first game of the season:

“It’s a bit of deja vu actually, because a similar thing happened at the start of last season with Izzy too. No player likes to miss games, they all want to play. And she’s really fired up to have an impact in whatever way she can this weekend.”

Adrian Stenta on his side wanting to get it’s first win of the season:

“We’re always trying to win. That’s my job is to try and prepare the team to get a result and to win. And so that’s what we’ll be doing every week, that doesn’t really change. We were disappointed with the way that we performed last week and so we hope to rectify that this week.”

Adrian Stenta on whether the rivalry with Victory exists in the A-League Women’s competition:

“I don’t think it’s a game that you need to motivate players for to play in. They’re games in good stadiums against good opposition that players should get up for and be really excited to play. It’s a rivalry but everyone in the league is our rivals.”

Adrian Stenta on whether Annalee Groves will come straight back in as goalkeeper or whether Claudia Jenkins will retain the spot she had in Round 2:

“Annie actually got a concussion during that first game, a little bit delayed onset there, so she wasn’t able to be selected for round two. And the extra week has provided us with some time to take a good look at that goalkeeping situation because Claudia (Jenkins) came in and did a really good job. (there are) some decisions for me to make, as far as selection but it’s a good position to be in.”

AUFC membership 23/24 sign up now