Adelaide United great Travis Dodd said the club now faced a huge challenge off the field to recruit the right players after it emerged stars Bruce Kamau and Craig Goodwin were leaving in the wake of the grand final success.
There had been growing speculation ahead of the grand final that winger Kamau would be joining big-spending Melbourne City next season and it is understood that move has now gone ahead. The Herald Sun in Melbourne is reporting Kamau has agreed to a three-year deal.
Goodwin's future had been the subject of speculation for months, with a move to Europe - most likely Holland - appearing likely. Ahead of the grand final there had been talk of Dutch Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam and the Adelaide Advertiser is now reporting Goodwin has signed there.
There has also been speculation about Adelaide central defender Dylan McGowan's future, with Sydney FC one of the clubs reportedly interested in him although they already have Matt Jurman and have just signed Alex Wilkinson from City.
McGowan is a natural target for other clubs after having had a tremendous season in an Adelaide defence that became almost unbreakable as the season wore on.
And star young midfielder Stefan Mauk, who joined Adelaide mid-season in a swap with City, who got central defender Osama Malik in return, has always been keen to try his luck in Europe as well. It remains to be seen whether any such offers come his way that he may want to consider.
Dodd, the former Adelaide captain who played in the losing 2007 and 2009 grand finals for the Reds and was also in the team when the club made the 2008 AFC Champions League final, said it was up to the club to get the right sort of players to replace those who were leaving.
"It's inevitable there are changes to the roster, it happens every year in the A-League, to every club," Dodd said.
"There is always a turnover of players, so it's a matter of the Adelaide club doing the best they can to keep as much of this squad together as possible.
"The word about Bruce Kamau going to City had been around. I'd heard it from sources within the football fraternity who know what's going on. And Craig Goodwin always wanted to go overseas.
"This sort of thing is always going to be a part of what happens when you have a championship-winning side. These players are trying to get the best futures possible for themselves, so it's a matter now of how well Adelaide can recruit again and keep themselves very competitive for next season.
"That's part of the business of football, especially in the A-League. Players either go overseas or take other opportunities, so the onus is always on A-League clubs to try and unearth the next diamond.
Kamau scored a cracking goal to open the scoring in the 3-1 grand final win over Western Sydney Wanderers last Sunday.
Goodwin spent most of the season in his preferred wing position, but played left-back towards the end of the season and did a great job there in the decider.
On Wednesday night, at Adelaide's end-of-season awards function, Goodwin won the Aurelio Vidmar medal as the club's player of the season.
Dodd said Adelaide, having won the Premier's Plate and championship double in emphatic style, would now be the team every other side most wanted to beat next season.
"They've got the target on their back now," he said. "They've set the benchmark and everyone will be trying to bring them down. They're the team to beat and it's up to them to recruit well and start again and continue the form into next year.
"Even if you don't lose players you've got to look to strengthen your team, because that's what every other club will be doing to try to catch up. Adelaide will identify where they have deficiencies and what areas they need to strengthen and then they'll aim to do that."