Adelaide United can consider themselves legitimate A-League title challengers next season after key player Marcelo Carrusca agreed a one-year contract extension.
Argentine Carrusca, operating as a playmaker, is the conduit for the Reds' slick attacking play, which has seen them climb to third on the table after a run of six wins and just one defeat in their last 10 matches.
It remains to be seen if Adelaide can mount a meaningful challenge for silverware in the 2013-14 finals.
But with the 30-year-old Estudiantes academy graduate tied down until 2015, Spanish coach Josep Gombau can plan a concerted bid for major honours next term.
Carrusca cited Gombau's sophisticated game-plan, which has produced impressive results in recent weeks, as the reason for committing his future to the Coopers Stadium club.
"We now know what we need to do on the pitch," he said in a statement.
"We have one style and we are working very hard every day on the pitch to learn this style.
"I love the way that we now want to play and for that I want to stay and help the team to reach the finals and of course like everybody I want to win the grand final."
Adelaide defender and vice-captain Jonathan McKain is also out of contract at the end of the season. Gombau, speaking earlier this month, said an offer has been made to the centre-back, but he is yet to inform this club of his decision.comments