By Athos Sirianos & Jamie Christofilos
To say Adelaide United’s win at the weekend was well earned would be an understatement.
The Reds were forced to do it the hard way with both the Newcastle Jets and local weather bringing the heat to Coopers Stadium.
Despite a 5:30pm start, the temperature read 38 degrees at kick-off as players, officials and fans braved the heat in a stadium with little cover.
Football Federation Australia’s heat policy states a match can be re-scheduled or postponed if the temperature is above 28 degrees, with it also mandating referees to allow for a 90 second drinks break in each half.
Adelaide boss Gertjan Verbeek was frustrated with the decision to not postpone the match, while forward George Blackwood – who opened the scoring in the 30th minute – told FNR playing in difficult conditions can influence the quality of matches.
“I was just hoping that it was somehow going to cool down by 5.30, but obviously that wasn’t the case,” he told FNR.
“I mean there’s chatter around the change room that goes on that everyone’s kind of not ready for the heat, but I think when the A-league makes a decision that the games going to go ahead you have to get your head around it, there’s no point complaining about it.
“But I think when it’s that hot we got to do something different, not just two drink breaks each half because it’s a bit of a joke really how hot it was.”
“I don’t think there’s much you can do apart from maybe just pull it back an hour or two, but the problem with that is they’ve got set times on the telly so that’s harder than it sounds you know.
“When you’re playing in that heat and it’s televised it’s not great viewing because the intensity is not great and people watching at home are thinking ‘why isn’t this game any good? Why aren’t players playing as well?’”
The Jets hit back immediately after half time with Matt Millar equalising in the 48th minute before James Troisi’s 84th minute goal sealed the win for the Reds.
Adelaide heads into its bye week sitting third on the table, having won five of its last six matches.
“When you get momentum, you can’t really explain it but things just work out and you start play better and there’s obviously confidence that goes throughout the team when you’re winning,” Blackwood said.
“The enjoyment around training is a lot higher, when you lose a couple of games it’s tough to bounce back.
“I think momentum is a big thing and obviously we’ve just gelled really nicely as a team.”
Featured Image: AAP