Malik's early arrival a bonus for Reds

Adelaide United FC assault towards the Hyundai A-League finals has been bolstered by the news that one of the club's signings for next season, Osama Malik, will join the club earlier than expected.

Adelaide United FC assault towards the Hyundai A-League finals has been bolstered by the news that one of the club's signings for next season, Osama Malik, will join the club earlier than expected.

Malik, who has spent this and the previous season with the North Queensland Fury, was only scheduled to begin his tenure with the Reds at the completion of the current Hyundai A-League campaign after signing with the club back in December.

However, with Reds defender Iain Fyfe heading to Korean club Busan I-Park at the end of the month, Adelaide United approached the Fury about Malik getting an early release. The Townsville based club agreed, leaving the Reds able to utilise Malik-s services for the rest of this season.

“It-s fantastic that Osama can join us now and be part of our squad,” Head Coach Rini Coolen said.

“We want to sincerely thank North Queensland Fury for allowing Osama to come here early, without their cooperation this could not have happened.”

The 20 year old midfielder will come to Adelaide on the back of 15 starts in 17 appearances for the Fury this season, having developed into a more than capable defender. Malik is expected to arrive in Adelaide tonight before training with the Reds for the first time on Tuesday.

Ironically, Adelaide United-s next match is against North Queensland at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night, although Coolen declared Malik would not be considered for selection until the Reds- following encounter against the Central Coast Mariners on January 29.

Malik-s availability provides Coolen with another welcome option at the back, particularly with the gap left by Fyfe-s departure for Korea at the end of January and with Daniel Mullen sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury. The club is also exploring the possibility of signing another defender in the near future to add further depth to the squad.