Striker Sergio van Dijk admits this current period of his career is the most frustrating and difficult one he has been through, but at the same time has vowed to continue doing his best as he turns an eye to the next chapter of his football journey.
Adelaide United FC striker Sergio van Dijk admits this current period of his career is the most frustrating and difficult one he has been through, but at the same time he has vowed to continue fulfilling his duties and doing his best as he turns an eye to the next chapter of his football journey.
Despite a Hyundai A-League record that reads 105 appearances and 50 goals across five seasons combined between Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United, van Dijk has found himself largely on the outer at the Reds in Season 8.
Van Dijk has publicly stated previously his desire to head to Indonesia due to family reasons, and there has been constant speculation the Dutchman would find a new home before his contract expires at the end of March.
Asked whether he believed this may have contributed to him being out of favour, van Dijk hinted that it could have played a part, but believes he has never stopped being committed to the Reds- cause.
“Maybe you can say it like that but as I said before, I think it hurts for every party a little bit and for me I still think I can learn things every day over here,” van Dijk said.
“This is probably part of football, and I hope to finish this soon and start a new chapter.”
Playing with a formation that includes two attacking midfielders for the majority of the season, Reds Coach John Kosmina has predominantly gone with Bruce Djite or Jeronimo Neumann to lead the line, which has left van Dijk, just like any player not getting a look in, feeling somewhat dejected.
“It has been frustrating a lot because I think I-m still capable of being important for the team, and to be third in the pecking order, that-s of course frustrating, but like I said, I have to continue and be professional because also for me there-s a future somewhere and that-s maybe my focus now so close to the end of my contract,” van Dijk said.
Although, with the Reds currently sitting second on the table, van Dijk understands it makes the chances of changes to the team less likely.
“I still think I can be a benefit to the team…but the coach knows the way he wants to play and who he needs for that and he chooses the team he thinks is the right team, and up to now we-re doing really well and for me that-s a reason I can-t argue with that,” van Dijk said.
“I-ve just got to keep working, maybe my chance will come, otherwise I-m here until March and then we-ll part ways.”
“I just keep training and hoping for another chance, and at the same time look for an opportunity to go somewhere else and play.”
The opening for van Dijk to possibly make just his fourth appearance of the season and second in the Reds- past 11 games comes at the expense of Djite, who suffered a groin injury in the opening two minutes of last Friday night-s win over Perth Glory and is expected to be out of action for three weeks.
Amongst any discontent, van Dijk is not letting his frustration boil over, the consummate professional that he has proved to be seeing him instead looking at what lies ahead.
“I want to focus on the future and I don-t have a bad life here in Australia, I have a good contract with Adelaide so life is pretty good, and this is just a part of it,” van Dijk said.
“I-m not angry but I-m frustrated or maybe a bit disappointed in how things have been working out, but the next step is my new future and new chapter.”
On his new chapter, van Dijk declared joining another Hyundai A-League club is not an option he was looking at, his preference on a move to play in Indonesia where he can be with his family.
“That-s not really my intention to go to another club in Australia because the main thing is my family reasons to leave Australia, so that wouldn-t be an improvement,” van Dijk said.
“But I want to stay in football, and in Europe and especially the Netherlands, there-s not a lot of clubs that would like to sign me, especially because the economical situation over there is not as good as Asia, so Indonesia would be the next logical step for me.”
Unsure if he has played his last game for the club, van Dijk remains open to representing Adelaide United again, even if he is leaning towards a possible move in the January transfer window.
“If I put one and one together, I-ve played three games and if I have a chance to play this week…ok maybe a couple of other games, I guess if I just think about how this season is going for me there won-t be a lot more, but if I have to I obviously want to be there for the team,” van Dijk said.
“In a way I know that-s football and it can be a hard world, but if I have to go today, I have to go and then the Adelaide chapter is closed…this bit is frustrating but we have to look ahead and hope that things can turn.”