EXCLUSIVE: Adelaide United begin their campaign for the 2010/11 season today with much of the focus on the future of their talismanic A-League player of the year Marcos Flores.
The Reds have offered the Argentine playmaker a three-year deal that would make him the highest paid player in the club’s history.
No doubt this story of his contract negotiations will dominate the long A-League pre-season ahead of October’s new season kick-off.
Not that it will trouble the laidback 25-year-old, said Reds teammate Cameron Watson.
“It doesn’t bother him,” the versatile Red told au.fourfourtwo.com. "He’s so laidback I don’t think he takes notice. He might but from what we perceive of him it’s like he doesn’t care, really.
“He just goes about doing what he does best."
And Watson, a former Porto youth team player who signed a two-year deal with United in January after impressing last season as a short-term injury replacement, offered a scary prediction for opposition teams.
“I think he can get better," he said. "He’s only 25 and has proved himself. Even this last year from the start of the season as the season got on he got better.
“He’ll get better no doubt and there’ll be clubs knocking on the door for him. He’s proved himself. And no doubt about, some of the things he does are pretty outrageous and he does it at training as well.
“Sometimes you just sit there and say, ‘Geez, how did he do that?’
“But in terms of living up to the expectations of the first season, I think he’ll just go out and hopefully if he’s still with us, he’ll just do the same thing because it’s what he loves and knows best.”
Watson, 23, is hoping he too can live up to expectations after a standout year as a makeshift rightback at Hindmarsh.
A natural midfielder the former AIS starlet did a sterling defensive job for Reds coach Rini Coolen and earned a two-year deal following his two injury replacement stints.
“It was a rollercoaster last season and not the ideal situation but I was ecstatic. I didn’t expect to play as much as I did but I had a half decent season,” he said.
“I enjoyed it and it got a bit easier as the season went on but [as a defender] you come up against some quick players. So you must stay switched on.”
The Reds return to pre-season today after their loss against Gold Coast in last season’s A-League finals.
Ahead is a five month off-season and, like everyone else in this league, the drawn-out pre-season is a challenge. For Watson, it’s a matter of keeping your eyes on the prize.
he added: “Yeah it’s a long term but you try not to think short-term; you think longer-term and the benefits from doing it.
“The motivation is there because obviously you want to do well in pre-season and impress and have a good start to next season.
“I’d love to get back into midfield where I can offer more of my ability. Everyone has their favourite position so it’d be good to get back in [to midfield]. But I’ll play anywhere. Leftback, upfront…”