Play-off carries extra significance for van Dijk

The implications of Thursday night’s ACL Play-Off may already give it enough anticipation, but for Sergio van Dijk the game carries even more sentiment.

The implications of Thursday night-s ACL Play-Off may already give it enough anticipation, but for Sergio van Dijk the game carries even more sentiment.

Born in Holland but with Indonesian heritage, van Dijk will line up against a team from Indonesia for the first time when the Reds take on Persipura Jayapura.

Proud of his connections to the country, there is an added touch of excitement in van Dijk-s expression heading into the one-off match.

“Of course,” van Dijk replied when asked if he was looking forward to locking horns with some of Indonesia-s best players.

“Maybe the way it all happened is a little bit strange but to face an Indonesian side and last year-s champion, it-s going to be a good game for me but also a nice test for us to get some teams that are at a champions league level.”

Adding further to the significance of this game for van Dijk is that he is in the process of applying for an Indonesian passport in order to one day be eligible to represent Indonesia-s national team.

The robust striker is a popular figure in Indonesia and although the process to attain his passport is on hold while the Reds are still in season, he hopes the time will eventually come to ply his trade on the international stage providing, he says, he is still playing well enough.

“It-s a special thing for me. I-m still waiting for my passport and I think after this season that will be done and maybe some of those guys can be my team mates in the Indonesian national team,” van Dijk said.

He may have ties with Indonesia, but van Dijk will certainly not be doing Persipura any favours and Thursday, the 29 year old keen to give their defence a torrid time of it as he craves the chance to play in the AFC Champions League again.

“I want to play Champions League and it-s not often you get the chance,” van Dijk said.

“We got drawn into a group, which was already a big surprise, and this is maybe a little bit strange but still we have to grab this opportunity with both hands and I think also for the supporters of Adelaide this is something extra for this season.”

“This game is a one off game and we have to do our best and I hope a lot of people come to cheer us on.”

Tickets for the match are available through Ticketek.