Boogaard's timely return

Adelaide United defender Nigel Boogaard’s long awaited comeback has come at an ideal time for Reds Coach Rini Coolen.

Adelaide United defender Nigel Boogaard-s long awaited comeback has come at an ideal time for Reds Coach Rini Coolen.

Boogaard, who had off season ankle surgery and has spent the majority of the pre season and the first month of season seven undergoing a thorough rehabilitation program, is set to be thrust straight into the Reds- starting eleven against Gold Coast United tomorrow night.

The defender has played in United Youth-s last two National Youth League matches and according to Coolen, has shown enough to be selected to take up a place in the heart of the Reds- defence alongside captain Jon McKain.

The news of Boogaard-s return to the Reds- senior side is complemented by the fact that it comes right at a time when fellow defender Milan Susak is battling a slight calf problem ruling him out of the Gold Coast clash.

Since taking over as Reds boss, Coolen has emphasised the importance of squad depth and having more than capable reinforcements in every position, and with a player of Boogaard-s calibre and experience coming in to replace Susak, it is a prime example of Coolen-s strategy at work.

In announcing Boogaard-s return to the team at a media conference this morning, Coolen says he is extremely pleased to have the former Central Coast Mariners defender up and about.

“Boogaard is finally back in our squad. We-ve had a big schedule for him over the last couple of months and he played a couple of games in the Youth Team as well, so he-s available from tomorrow, that-s a big bonus for us,” Coolen said prior to facing Gold Coast at Hindmarsh tomorrow night.

“It-s not a big thing but he (Susak) got a knock on his calf at the start of the week and he hasn-t recovered very well from that, so we took the decision not to use him, but the benefit for us is that Boogaard is back, so he can fit in the position as a central defender.”

“He (Boogaard) has pulled up very well and it-s good to have him back and he will be in the starting eleven tomorrow.”

It has been a long time between drinks for Boogaard, who has had to endure a tedious and lengthy time on the sidelines. He missed 19 of the first 20 games of last season before managing to string together appearances in the club-s last seven games of 2010/11.

Coincidentally, Boogaard-s last Hyundai A-League appearance came against the Gold Coast back on February 27 in the second week of last season-s finals series.