Striker Bruce Djite has overcome a slight hamstring niggle and is ready to play if called upon for the Reds’ season opener against Perth Glory.
Striker Bruce Djite has overcome a slight hamstring niggle and is ready to play if called upon for the Reds- season opener against Perth Glory.
Kept out of the trial match against Melbourne Victory a fortnight ago as well as the Reds- hit out with local side Blue Eagles due to the minor hamstring problem, Djite was back into full training this week and has declared himself fully fit.
Djite insists his absence from the Reds- last two hit outs was more precaution than necessity, and Gold Coast United's leading scorer from last season is eager to prove that he will be an asset in Head Coach Rini Coolen-s plans of dismantling Perth-s defence.
“The last two weeks I-ve just felt a bit sore in the hamstring but nothing came up in the MRI scans so I-m feeling good and looking forward to the game this weekend,” Djite said.
“Why take the risk and play a friendly game and then you-re injured for the first game of the season. It-s better just to back off a bit, I didn-t have much of a break at all, obviously being over in China, so I-ll just back off a bit now, I don-t think I need too much work, my fitness levels are good and the hamstring is feeling good now so hopefully on Sunday I-ll be 110 per cent.”
Prior to arriving in Adelaide, Djite-s schedule had continued to be all football as he spent a stint in China-s Super League straight after leaving Gold Coast at the end of last season. This has given the 24 year old a solid fitness base heading into this season, and he believes the short rest he has had has him refreshed and energetic ahead of the Hyundai A-League.
Since the first time he ran out for the Reds as a youthful 19 year old back in 2006, Djite agrees that he has matured and learnt a lot, both as a person and a player. In that time, Djite has a greater awareness of how to manage his body to full effect. This means thinking more about the best possible outcome for both him and the team, rather than an over exuberance to play at every opportunity, despite how much he wants to be out on the field with every chance he gets.
“It-s always difficult to watch the boys play, whether it-s a friendly or not, especially the game here against Melbourne Victory - it was a friendly but with nearly 10,000 fans I was itching to get out there,” Djite said.
“But sometimes you-ve got to pull the handbrake up a bit and take care of your body and that-s what I was doing, so I-m looking forward to get out there in Perth.”
Djite-s availability gives Coolen a healthy but difficult dilemma at the selection table, with all but Fabian Barbiero and Nigel Boogaard to choose from for the trip to Perth.