Babalj unveiled as Reds’ new no.19

Adelaide United officially unveiled Eli Babalj as a United player today, with the Reds’ new no. 19 stating his eagerness in beginning his one year loan spell with the club.

Following Adelaide United’s announcement of the season-long loan of Eli Babalj, the striker spoke of his excitement in joining the club and explained why he decided to bring his football to South Australia.

“When Adelaide contacted me and my agents, it was an exciting prospect especially with the team’s performances last year and their style of play,” Babalj said.

“The team came so close to the minor premiership and also to making the final (of the Hyundai A-League), but obviously won the FFA Cup so it’s an exciting team and I’m really looking forward to (my time here).

“The players that we have here are excellent and I’m looking forward to combining well with them.

“The A-League is getting better each year and I just want to play games and be successful with the team – that’s a big reason why I’ve come here.

“Hopefully I can get as many games as I can and obviously help the team. The better I fit in with the team and the better the team does then the better the outcome is (for everyone).”

Speaking on the addition of Babalj to the squad, Adelaide United’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Petrillo, said Babalj had been on United’s ‘wish-list’ since the end of last season and the entire club is thrilled to have secured his many talents.

“Eli (has signed) with us for a season-long loan from one of the top clubs in Holland, AZ Alkmaar,” Petrillo explained.

“We’re very thankful to AZ Alkmar for loaning Babalj to us and they were very easy to negotiate with.

“Eli was one of the first players we put on our list when we started our search for a striker at the end of last season.

“We’re very pleased to have secured his services and we’re very sure he’ll be an exciting and valuable edition to the squad not only for the Hyundai A-League season coming up, but also for our Westfield FFA Cup and Asian Champions League campaigns.”

Babalj’s new head coach, Guillermo Amor, also spoke of not only the club’s delight, but also his personal elation, saying Babalj is the perfect fit for the Reds.

“Eli is a player that is very important because he can be used in many different positions during games.

“He’s a very strong player and he’s exactly what the team has been looking for.”