EXCLUSIVE: Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd is confident a new campaign will see the Reds end their woeful run in front of goal as he bids to shed the 'embarrassment' caused by claiming the wooden spoon.
The Reds scored just 24 goals in the A-League last season and Dodd accepts there can be no repeat this time.
With a new coach and a fresh start, he is in positive mood ahead of the opening match against Newcastle Jets.
"It was embarrassing to finish last," he told au.fourfourtwo.com. "We have our sights set higher and we want to make it up to our fans, to ourselves and put on a good showing this year."
Dodd has been impressed with the impact of new coach Rini Coolen since he arrived at Hindmarsh.
"He's very thorough, goes into detail about how he wants us want to play. I think he's going to be very good for us this year. With the players we've got I think we're strong enough to be challenging for the title," said Dodd.
But goals are the key, he admits. "We know that," he said. "We were pretty poor in front of goal last season. Hopefully the things we've worked on will put us in better stead for this season. We've certainly got the quality to do it."
Much of the burden will fall on former Brisbane Roar striker Sergio van Dijk.
"Sergio's had a pretty good pre-season," said Dodd. "He's scored in the majority of trial games and his confidence should be high. As long as he gets the supply, he can deliver."
The only downer for Dodd is his own situation - currently out through injury.
"It's very frustrating," he added. "But I want to be right when I come back, so not to have any problems later."