McGree thrilled to return home as a Red
Adelaide United’s latest signing, Riley McGree, says he is excited to have joined the Reds and is looking forward to working under boss, Gertjan Verbeek.
McGree was acquired by the Reds for an undisclosed fee from Belgian outfit Club Brugge and signed a three-year contract.
The 20-year-old, who had spent the past 18 months out on loan with fellow Hyundai A-League sides, Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City, said he was glad to be home.
“It’s a great feeling always coming back home and I can’t wait to play in front of my home fans sooner rather than later,” McGree stated to reporters at his official unveiling.
McGree revealed that he was convinced to return to United following discussions with the Club’s Director of Football, Bruce Djite.
“It’s obviously home for me and it’s where it all started so I got my opportunity here in the first place,” he said.
“And I feel like it’s only right that potentially I get another opportunity to go back overseas or into the national team from here as well.
“Bruce did reach out to me initially, he gave me a call which got the ball kind of rolling and I’m pretty thankful that he did.”
It is the first time the Reds have paid a transfer fee for a signing, but McGree, who will also wear the revered number eight jersey previously worn by Club legend Isaías, insisted there is no added pressure to perform.
“I don’t really feel too much pressure in that sense,” he claimed.
“I’m just pretty proud of what I’ve done so far and I’m proud to represent this Club and hopefully do a lot of things individually and for the team.”
He added that he was attracted by Verbeek’s attacking philosophy, something he believes suits his style and will allow him to reach his potential and maximise productivity.
“The new coach coming in, he’s a well-respected coach and he’s achieved some good results at a pretty high level,” he said.
“So I’m excited to buy into that philosophy and hopefully the rest of the players can do that.
“I think it seems to be so far an attacking, free flowing kind of football that works on tactical and technical aspects and I think that suits me as a player.
“I want to get forward, I want to score goals and I want to play good football for the fans.”
McGree also said bringing back former Reds icons in the form of Djite and Eugene Galekovic and Carl Veart as coaches strengthens the culture within the Club.
“I think it’s a great thing for the culture of the Club to get back players into the staff that have played here before,” he said.
“I’ve played with Eugene (Galekovic) and now he’s the goalkeeping coach, and also obviously watching Bruce, and Carl Veart has also coached me.
“So it’s good having familiar faces around and people that you did watch and look up to I guess when you were younger.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.