Da Silva officially a Red

Adelaide United FC is delighted to officially announce that it has secured local based attacking midfielder Ricardo Da Silva for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.

Adelaide United FC is delighted to officially announce that it has secured local based attacking midfielder Ricardo Da Silva for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.

Da Silva has been on Reds Head Coach Rini Coolen-s radar for much of this year as he kept a close eye on the Portuguese born talent while he was playing with Adelaide City in the local Super League competition. The Reds- newest signing reiterates the club-s commitment to identifying local talent and providing them with an opportunity, regardless of age.

“I have followed him for a long period and I got the confirmation when he trained with us a couple of months ago that he is definitely a player that can fit into our system,” Coolen said of his new acquisition.

The 27 year old trained with the Reds a couple of times a few months ago, but Coolen has had to wait to bring Da Silva into the squad due to his commitments with Adelaide City, which ended last Saturday following the club-s defeat to Blue Eagles in the Super League Grand Final.

While Coolen stated the situation surrounding Da Silva was not ideal, he said the club accepted it and was now looking forward to him joining the squad on a full time basis.

“We-ve had a few meetings with him to tell him about our shape and the way we want to play, and it would have been better if he could have come in a few more times over the past couple of months to train with the boys for one session a week to get used to our shape, but we knew he was playing at Adelaide City and unfortunately we didn-t have permission from them to do that.”

“So we respected that and took the decision to leave him as long as possible to play with his local club, but the local season is over now and it-s good that we can start working with him.”

Da Silva fits the mould of the majority of new signings Coolen has made in the off season, the Reds- Dutch boss continuing to recruit and attract players who can play in and adapt to various positions on the field.

“There is something special about him (Da Silva) from all of the times I saw him playing for Adelaide City this year, and in our system we prefer to have players who can play on the left side, on the right side, behind the striker, and he can play in each of those positions,” Coolen said.

“He has some individual quality and individual skills and he-s also a goal scorer, so he brings a lot of speed and individual quality into the game and he can also decide a game, so those are things that are very important, but on top of that he is also a good person and a good professional.”

Born in the Portuguese city of Torres Vedras, Da Silva spent two years in Adelaide as an international high school student before returning home. He then trialled in Italy and played in Portugal-s second division with Sport Clube União Torreense, however he would find himself moving back to Adelaide in 2007 for family reasons.

Now after five years in South Australia-s best local competition, Da Silva, who is an Australian citizen, is preparing to take on the best in the A-League.

“It-s something I worked very hard and long for, it has always been a goal of mine so it-s something I-m looking forward to,” Da Silva said.

“I believe in myself so I thought when you play local football and you want to become professional, you always believe someone is going to sign you because you-re good enough to get there, so I definitely thought I was a chance, and the kind of football Rini said he wanted to try and play, he told me he thought I-d fit in with that.”

“I try and not focus too much on my expectations. It-s easy for me to motivate myself and I want to be champions this year with this team,” Da Silva said.

“The rest is just to try and work hard because it would be great in my first year to become champions with Adelaide United, which is the overall goal of the whole club, and that-s what I want.”

Despite his Portuguese heritage, Adelaide has become a home away from home for Da Silva and he hopes he can do South Australia-s football community proud.

“I feel Adelaide is my home. I-ve got a lot of friends here and people have made me feel very welcome and it would be good for me to give something back to the community that embraced me when I came here.”

Despite the start of the season being just a fortnight away, Coolen expects Da Silva to slot seamlessly into the squad and said there was a strong chance he could see some action as early as tomorrow night against Melbourne Victory.

“I don-t think it will take too much time for him to get used to our formation and our shape, everything will probably just go a little bit quicker for him, but I don-t see any problems and think he will fit in pretty easily,” Coolen said.

“Friday is a very important game and he won-t be starting but hopefully he will get some playing time during the game.”

Da Silva will become just the second player to wear number 13 for the Reds after it was previously worn by former captain Travis Dodd.

Ricardo Da Silva DOB 29 October 1983 (Torres Vedras, Portugal) Age 27 Position Attacking Midfielder

Club History 2009-2011 Adelaide City (SA) 2008 Blue Eagles (SA) 2007 Adelaide Galaxy (SA) 2005-2007 Sport Clube União Torreense (SCUT) (Portugal)