The past decade has seen Adelaide United’s Bruce Djite flourish through the trenches of Australia’s youth system and grow into an experienced veteran of the A-League.
Since signing his first professional contract with United, in the early years of Australia’s new domestic competition, he’s played 103 games in a Reds shirt. A talented striker, Djite’s trips abroad were never far or few between. Whilst stints at Turkey and China were a success, a return ticket to Adelaide, his home, was never far away.
It’s players like Djite that are the heart and the soul of the A-League. The consistent performers, regular starters who through their individual ups and downs are now the fan favourites.
The TURF got to catch-up with Bruce late last month in Sydney.
Hindmarsh has been a buzz the past twelve months. FFA Cup victory and A-League Finals meant that there’s been little reprieve for the Reds, though a mission accomplished according to Djite.
“We were 1 of 2 teams to win any of the 3 trophies up for grabs. Melbourne Victory won the Grand Final and Minor Premiership and we won the FFA Cup.”
“The season was a success in regard to winning silverware.”
Much of Adelaide’s rise to success has been from the fruits of their very own señor, Josep Gombaou’s distinct Spanish setup and flamboyant football.
“Josep is a very good coach, that is very easy to see through the way the team operates on and off the field. There is a special bond amongst all the boys off the field and on the field our style of play today compared to the time before Josep arrived, it is very easy to see the significant impact he has had on the playing group.”
Happy to celebrate a goal but also willing to have the tough conversations, earning the respect and trust of the playing group.
“He is a very liberal, new age if you like style of coach. He is open and honest and everyone has the utmost respect for him. He has found as close to a perfect balance as possible to being approachable and commanding the ultimate authority that all coaches need to be successful.”
It’s been a bittersweet period for Bruce who was sidelined from Adelaide’s semi-final against Sydney FC. But with little time to reminisce on disappointment of last season, pre-season training is about to begin as preparations begin for the next A-League season begin.
“I’m very much looking forward to getting back into training with my team mates. I know that we will have different movements and patterns that will allow our game and playing style to evolve further so I’m looking forward to learning some new movements.”
And with practice matches set against Manchester City and Liverpool, there’s no wonder why Adelaide is ready to hit the track at full pace.
“Also with the Manchester City and Liverpool friendlies there’s no doubt there’ll be extra motivation amongst the group to perform at a high level.”
A little be-known fact of the Adelaide’s talisman is his distaste for the traditional black boots. Discussing his match-day routine, Djite highlights the importance of a good pair of armour when heading out onto the pitch.
“The more comfortable the boot the more a player is capable of doing. If boots give you blisters or put pressure on the wrong parts of your foot then you will be uncomfortable and therefore unable to execute movements or shots that you may otherwise have done.”
“The HYPERVENOM II are the most comfortable boot I have ever worn and I feel excited to be able to wear them in the upcoming season.”
Written by Jacob Arnott. @jacobarnott.