Kick-off at Hindmarsh Stadium was just minutes away but Adelaide United members were still strolling in, seemingly without any stress, and confident ahead of the battle against reigning champion Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.
The temperament of Adelaidean football fans a vast contrast to what UK native and Red Army Committee member Jason Cavey is familiar with, but he says he loves the atmosphere at his new home ground.
“It’s lot more laid back, it’s got that Aussie feeling," Cavey said.
"I’ve brought a few friends here from the UK and one of them is a Chelsea season ticket holder and he says the atmosphere was fantastic.
"It’s a lot more what it should be, about the fans and very grassroots – not so much the corporate involvement."
While he also doesn’t need to fear for his life.
“There’s that as well! It’s nice to go to the football and know there’s no trouble,” Cavey added.
Fan Kasey Van Puijenbroek, who has tracked the Socceroos around the globe, still gets a buzz out of going to Hindmarsh.
“Hindmarsh is the best football stadium in the country, we don’t have to share it with the rugby league or the rugby union and there’s not a bad seat in the house, it’s perfect. I love it," he said.
"When you come here you know a hundred people. It’s like putting on a pair of comfy old jeans. Why wouldn’t you want to come back here?”
Adelaide United has maintained a solid backing over the years and is arguably the best-known team in the A-League after its exploits in the AFC Championship League and FIFA Club World Cup.
Despite a tough start to the 2011-2012 campaign smiles are plastered on the faces of fans as the club embraces the dawning of a new era, with a touch of the old.
The man fans credit for taking Adelaide to the top before has returned to offer the mid-season shake-up supporters have been desperate for.
Diehard fan David Eggers, who has been following Adelaide since the NSL days, believes John Kosmina's return has given fans renewed hope. Since taking over from axed Dutchman Rini Coolen in mid-December, Kossie has overseen an unbeaten run.
“He’s obviously got results so far,” Eggers said.
Adelaide's A-League crowds averaged 10,947 in 2005-2006 and over 12,000 in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. Despite a lack of on field success during the 2009-2010 season, crowds remained healthy and are tipped to flourish again in the 2011-2012 season.
Eggers contends that football holds its own in the AFL entrenched city.
“It’s pretty big, it’s in the papers and we get a lot of coverage now - especially lately with Kossie coming back on board,” he said.
And with 11, 274 fans turning out to see the game against Brisbane Roar there seems to be renewed fire in the bellies of not only the players but the Reds fans as well.
“I think we’ve got a bit of that in us, especially if the boys are down we like to think we can get them up over the line,“ Red Army Committee member Andy Ruzgar said.
“Kossie certainly does, he can certainly get us fired up when we’re down, he has in the past when he’s gone on his tirades and that kind of thing and grabbing Kevin Muscat by the throat – could be a repeat next week!”
But there are a few voices of dissent at Kosmina’s return.
“While it’s good for the club that he’s definitely brought back some courage into the players, at times I do think the club is going backwards," Carlos said.
"But the proof’s in the results so it’s a good thing so as long as the club’s winning."
Cab driver Stephen Baker and his wife braved the entire match from the Eastern stand amid torrential rain in the first half, and he believes technically, Kossie isn’t that great, but he’s good with the players.
“He can ignite the players and fire them up. But previously, in his role as manager, his method of play was from the back - and boot the ball up,” Baker said.
“Now he’s got better players he should do better. Sergio Van Dijk and Bruce Djite can score, but they’re both slow."
As for Kosmina he seems to be more relaxed in his second spell in charge and enjoying the excitement that his return has injected into the club.
“It’s nice that I can inspire people with fire in the belly but I’d like people to think of me in football terms as well, rather than just being a panel beater that runs around pumping everybody up and maybe kicking a few people."
That's fair enough too.
One of the most controversial figures in Australian football, the 55-year-old, who thought his coaching days at the highest level were over, knows he’s been handed a lifeline. He’s hoping to shake that bad boy image and make the headlines for the right reasons only, this time around.
Kosmina aside, the Red Army is confident that Adelaide United will always be a powerhouse.
“We’ve had more ups than downs over the past seven or eight years, it’s a good team to follow because we always win generally," Ruzgar said.
"When we’re down we’re not down for that long and we always have something to smile about at the end of the day."
With Adelaide's form and results improving, and the A-League congestion that sees the team equal on points with sixth-placed Melbourne Victory, you can’t blame fans for getting excited about what lies ahead in 2012.
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