Adelaide United hero Bruce Djite says the team’s ‘family’ feeling and team-first ethos gives the Reds a clear advantage no matter who they face in next weekend’s Hyundai A-League grand final.
Djite put in a man of the match performance in Friday night’s comprehensive 4-1 win over City in the semi final at Coopers to book United’s third grand final appearance – and their first season finale in South Australia.
The in-form forward bagged a brace – one stunning long-range effort and a pen – before Dylan McGowan and sub Pablo Sanchez added to the scoreline after Nick Fitzgerald pulled one back for City.
“I can sum it up like this. We came up against a fantastic team tonight but we are family,” Djite told Fox Sports.
“And I tell you what this family will beat any team any day. It’s a competitive advantage and it takes years to build.
“It doesn’t matter who we face on Sunday, I know they are not as tight as we are.
“Everyone does their job and that’s helped the team win,” the 29-year-old said, stressing the work off the ball the team do to help the Reds’ cause.
Djite last played in a grand final as a 19-year-old back in season two – a humiliating loss to Victory in Melbourne – but now he has the chance to play in Adelaide’s first-ever home finale.
“Pure elation,” was his reaction when asked how he felt to qualify for the biggest day of the season.
“We’ve done well to get to where we are but we’re not there yet.
“I’ve been involved in a grand final before and we fell over then, and I don’t want a repeat of that feeling.
“We’ll enjoy it tonight but tomorrow we start to think about next week. And we’ll look forward to playing whoever it is.”
Djite revealed the team practised penalties a day earlier and he missed two spot kicks.
“It is close to perfect but the message this week is, ‘the grand final is next week’. We played well today but our best performance has to be the next one. And if it’s not, it’s all wasted.”