Adelaide star ramps up Grand Final mind games


In-form Adelaide United striker Bruce Djite believes Wanderers have made a mistake in turning down the opportunity to train at Adelaide Oval ahead of Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Guillermo Amor’s side were put through their paces on Thursday as the Reds returned to the venue where they opened what has been a remarkable campaign.

An AFL match on Saturday afternoon means the grass is not yet cut to match conditions – the reason Western Sydney turned down the chance to train on the pitch.

Djite thought the session will give Adelaide an edge.

“That will be an advantage I think and we need to take as many advantages into this game as we can,” Djite told reporters on Friday. 

Reds striker Bruce Djite fires a shot on goal in front of City midfielder Osama Malik.

“We earned that right by finishing first and we look forward to playing in front of what will be a sold-out stadium.

“It’ll be a quick pitch. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing.

“I think it’s always good to have a familiarisation session on the field that you’re going to play a Grand Final on.”

Hyundai A-League Grand Final Preview: Reds v Wanderers

Djite’s mind games didn’t stop there with the Reds’ semi-final hero revealing the superstition behind his training regime this week.

The 29-year-old, who has netted six goals in his past four games, trained away from the group earlier in the week, leading to speculation he’s nursing an injury.

“Physically I’m all good,” Djite assured fans. “The only reason I did the light stuff this week is because that’s what I did before the Melbourne City game.

Bruce Djite - Adelaide United

“That game turned out okay so we thought we’d replicate what I did last week.

“Everything is perfectly fine, I’ve got no issues and I’ll be playing on Sunday. Touch wood I get through tomorrow’s session.”

With less than 1000 tickets remaining for Sunday’s showpiece Djite implored Reds fans to help Adelaide over the line as they chase their maiden Championship title.

It would be a fairytale finish to a season that has seen them rise from cellar-dwellers to Premiers, winning over thousands of new fans along the way.

“The build-up has been phenomenal; it’s fair to say the bandwagon is full,” said Djite.

Adelaide United players celebrate one of Bruce Djite's goals in their win over Melbourne City.

“The amount of people wishing us well is fantastic to see and that’s the benefit of having a home Grand Final.

“For the fans that do come Sunday afternoon I hope they bring their voices and colours and make this place as intimidating as possible for the Western Sydney Wanderers.”