By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
AFTER a 15-month break since the final National League match, excitement is starting to build as the new Hyundai A-League is only six and a half weeks from official kickoff.
Australian football legend and Adelaide United coach John Kosmina can't wait for the season to start.
He sees next week's pre-season cup opener against Perth Glory as the real start of the season and is relishing the chance to have a training camp in Coffs Harbour this week leading up to it.
"That's why the timing of this camp is fantastic for us," Kosmina said.
"It took a bit of work to get things organised but I'm glad it worked out in the end.
"We've got two good games against good quality opposition, teams that we will play against during the A-League.
"For us to get close, really close, for the week leading up to the season opener I suppose, and it is a season opener, you couldn't ask for a better preparation."
After a disappointing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Central Coast in the semi-finals of the Australian World Club Championship series, Kosmina is adamant that this camp is being used to wipe away the disappointment of that defeat.
"We weren't happy at all about our performances in the World Club Championship," he said.
"Fitness wasn't an issue but our intensity, our mental focus and application wasn't what it should have been.
"We've done a lot of work in that area and that's why this is the final part of the whole picture hopefully.
"We've come up here to train and prepare.
"We're not here for a holiday or to get a suntan. We want to do well in the games against Newcastle and against Queensland."
Even though Kosmina and the Adelaide squad had only been in town for a brief period, he was already impressed with set-up they will enjoy during the camp.
"I've been up here a couple of times before and you couldn't ask for better than this," he proclaimed.
"In terms of the facilities it's second to none, it's fantastic."
Even though Adelaide have travelled the furthest to Coffs Harbour this week, Kosmina believes that the local football fans should get behind United as the coach feels that he has an affinity with the area that makes him one of the boys.
"I coached Newcastle in games up here, I've coached Brisbane and spent some time down here, I was almost going to live here at one stage so I'm almost a local," he explained.
"I've got a couple mates that live here, a couple of guys out at Bellingen and a good mate up at Woolgoolga, so we're more local than probably the Newcastle guys are."