On the day when Australians turn their focus to ‘the race that stops the nation’, the Adelaide United stable has all of its runners fit and available for Friday night’s crunch game against Melbourne Heart.
On the day when Australians turn their focus to ‘the race that stops the nation-, the Adelaide United stable has all of its runners fit and available for Friday night-s crunch game against Melbourne Heart.
While all eyes on the first Tuesday in November turn to Flemington and the Melbourne Cup, at Hindmarsh Stadium the Reds went about their business on the training track as they try to get their season back on the rails.
Coming off a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of reigning champions Brisbane Roar, if there was ever a week when the Reds would welcome some good news this is it, and it has come at just the right time for Head Coach Rini Coolen.
Rarely do coaches have the luxury of having everyone fit and up for selection, but as United prepares for the visit of the winless Heart, this is exactly the situation Coolen has in front of him.
All 21 players on the Reds- list are injury free, with arguably the most notable inclusion being the return of striker Bruce Djite.
Djite suffered a major groin injury a minute after coming on in the dying stages of Adelaide United-s win over Melbourne Victory back on October 14.
The early prognosis suggested the former Gençlerbirligi and Gold Coast United forward would be touch and go to be ready in three weeks to tackle the Heart. But a thorough rehab program and regular treatment from the Reds- medical staff has the 24 year old back into full training and champing at the bit.
Djite-s imminent return is a major boost for the Reds, his energy and eagerness to be back playing again certain to rub off on a host of his team mates who could be excused for feeling deflated after the events of last Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.
Equally as positive as Djite-s availability is the news that defender Nigel Boogaard and midfielder Fabian Barbiero both made successful comebacks in United-s Youth Team on Saturday.
Encouragingly, Boogaard managed 60 minutes in his first competitive match since an ankle operation in the off season, while Barbiero, who also underwent ankle surgery, joined other senior listed players Cameron Watson, Ricardo Da Silva and Antony Golec in helping the young Reds record a 3-1 over Brisbane Roar-s Youth Team.
The quintet is expected to arrive back in Adelaide with the rest of the Reds- Youth Team tonight following the resumption of Qantas flights around the country.
United-s squad will have a rest day tomorrow before a final training session on Thursday ahead of Friday night-s game against the Heart. Tickets for the match are available through Ticketek.