Alagich: Finals experience will be good for us

Ethan Alagich says Adelaide United Youth will be going into their first NPL SA finals campaign since 2018 with a “nothing to lose” mentality.

The Young Reds (fifth) face MetroStars (fourth) at TK Shutter Reserve in a massive elimination final next weekend.

Incidentally, United’s last finals clash four years ago occurred against the Klemzig-based club.

Alagich admitted it was a nice feeling to be able to compete for and subsequently achieve a place in the top six after a few years of trying to avoid relegation.

Before this season, United had finished eighth, 10th and ninth in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.

“It’s good because we’ve always been kind of fighting relegation the last couple of years,” he explained.

“So just to be able to play finals and get that experience is really good.

“We already have someone like Asad (Kasumović) who’s been there who won it (with Adelaide City last year), and most of us have done it with the Reserves a couple of years ago.

“But to play NPL finals is a whole lot different, so it will be a good experience and hopefully we can go a long way.”

Ethan Alagich in action for the Young Reds. Photo by 80kms.

Alagich said they will now go into this clash without any real expectations, but equally determined to go as far as possible.

“We’re a young team and I guess at the start of the year no one ever really thought we could be in the finals,” he said.

“We really have nothing to lose. We’re there for the first time since 2018.”

The Young Reds guaranteed fifth spot after a resounding 4-1 win against West Torrens Birkalla at ServiceFM Stadium on Saturday.

Luka Jovanović’s finish, a quick-fire Jonny Yull brace and a stoppage time goal from Kasumović sealed the crucial three points.

“Obviously it’s good to get a win again, we probably could’ve scored a lot more in the first-half,” he continued.

“We had plenty of chances to win by a lot more, but to get a win again after the result last week and have a good result going into the finals is positive.”

The 18-year-old has also been one of the most consistent players for the Young Reds this term, scoring twice in 19 matches as well as helping orchestrate a number of goals from the base of the midfield.

Alagich revealed he was overall content with his performances.

“I think I’ve been pretty happy with the way I’ve played this year,” he continued.

“There’s been some games where I haven’t been happy or I’ve lost the ball too many times, or try and force too many passes when I shouldn’t.

“But all in all, I think I’ve done well and worked hard which is all you can really ask for and the whole team to work hard.”