Coach Carl Veart describes Adelaide United as different to a lot of A-League Men competition rivals.
Veart proudly carries an attacking philosophy into a league often dominated by counter-attacking styles.
He trumpets a philosophy of promoting young talent.
And Veart says Adelaide’s holistic outlook means they’re one of few clubs prepared to release young players to rivals able to offer more game time.
The precocious Al Hassan Toure and Pacifique Niyongabire are prime examples, with both exiting Adelaide for greater game time at Macarthur FC and Perth Glory respectively.
“We know we let go a couple of exciting young players,” Veart told AAP.
“In a way, we are one of the few A-League clubs that will allow our young players to get game time for their own benefit.
“We allowed young Pacifique to go because we couldn’t give him enough game time – and he needs game time to make that next step.
“And the same with Al Hassan … we have done what is best for them.”
But the pragmatic Veart also knows admirable philosophies must be coupled with results at the Reds, who were beaten semi-finalists last season.
“We want to be a top four team, there’s no hiding behind that,” he said.
“But we also have set our culture as a club. We want to be providing platforms for young players.
“You have got to balance out that with the results … it’s a very fine line.”
Al Hassan Toure, Niyongabire, marquee striker Tomi Juric and defensive linchpins Jordan Elsey and Ryan Strain have departed for the looming season.
Spanish midfield general and former captain Isaias returns, as does attacker George Blackwood.
Adelaide’s defensive stocks have been bolstered by recruits Nick Ansell and Jacob Tratt, with Veart bullish about improved output from Spaniard Javi Lopez and George Timotheou after both were hampered by interrupted pre-season’s last campaign.
The Reds’ midfield again is formidable, headlined by influential wingers Craig Goodwin and Ben Halloran and skipper Stefan Mauk.
Veart also plans a midfield injection of Bernardo Oliveira, the 17-year-old son of Adelaide great Cassio whose potential has the coach in rapture.
“He is going to be the most exciting player in the A-League this year, I truly believe that,” Veart said.
“Bernado is a player that, in a one-v-one, can beat anyone. And in world football if you can beat people in a one-v-one area, you can go a long way.”
Veart will task the 17-year-old Mohamed Toure and 22-year-old Kusini Yengi with leading his attack lines following Juric’s departure to Macarthur.
“I was happy to stay with these two young boys and give them the opportunity to get the game time, get the experience, and to be world-class players hopefully,” he said.
“They have got the talent but they need games to learn.
“They are going to make a lot of mistakes this year but it’s a matter of having the patience to work with them and give them the time to grow.”
But Veart doesn’t hold similar patience with defensive lapses which cost the Reds last season when they conceded 41 goals in the regular season – the most of any top-six club.
“Two things cost us last season,” he said.
“We had far too many injuries … we have addressed that and made a lot of changes so hopefully, touch wood, we don’t have that issue again.
“The other part was we conceded far too many goals.
“I want to play an attacking brand of football but I don’t want to be conceding goals as well.
“If you want to win you have to keep clean sheets and be defensively strong.
“We have recruited well with the players we have brought in defensively that will help with that.”