Van Dijk: We have the quality to beat Shandong

Sergio van Dijk says he is excited about his return to the Reds for the Club’s upcoming AFC Champions League play-off against Shandong Luneng on Tuesday night.

After departing the Club in 2012, Sergio van Dijk has re-signed for United’s 2016 AFC Champions League (ACL) season, stating his excitement and being back with Adelaide.  

“It is great to be back in Adelaide and to be able to play for Adelaide United again,” van Dijk said. “I had some good times here, both on the field and off it and I made some great memories that have stayed with me.”

Van Dijk, who was one of the Reds’ most prolific goal-scorers, scoring 25 goals in 55 appearances for the Club, also mentioned that he was impressed with the skill and standard that the Reds have developed and was full of enthusiasm and praise of his new teammates.

“The standard of the team has improved a lot (since I played here last), the players are quick and there is a great quality about them,” he continued.

”That is what the A-League is about, to improve every year, and Adelaide have been doing so.”

And with United facing Shandong Luneng Taishan in their upcoming ACL play-off, van Dijk is confident in the Reds’ squad and in the power of Australian football, with his own experience to be forthcoming. 

“I am confident in the upcoming match and the team, with previous Champions League experience, I have seen the success of Australian football, and I know that we have a chance.

“The way we play physically, our possession play, and of course having the home crowd can definitely work in our favour.

”I have also kept up my own standard, finishing off my season in Thailand very well, and have been training here since I arrived.

"I believe I can fit in with the team and that their new style of play will suit me well, as I like to work hard and do my job for the team.

“This will be my fourth Champions League campaign, and I know a bit of what to expect. If we play our best football, and with the support of the fans, I believe we can progress.”

Adelaide United will face Shandong Luneng Taishan in the AFC Champions League Play-Off on Tuesday, 9 February at Hindmarsh Stadium. Kick off is at 7.30pm ACDT.​

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