Andrioli proud of Young Reds after reaching finals

Head of Youth Football Airton Andrioli was extremely proud of his team after Adelaide United Youth secured its first finals appearance since 2018.

Heading into the final round of the 2022 NPL SA regular season, the Young Reds knew a win over bottom-placed West Torrens Birkalla would all but guarantee its status in the top six.  

Ultimately, United ensured they would not need to rely on other results producing a dominant 4-1 triumph at ServiceFM Stadium on Saturday.

Perhaps, the only surprise was that it took 39 minutes for the deadlock to be broken by Luka Jovanović  – his 12th of the campaign  – with the Young Reds unable to convert its chances.

However, by midway during the second-half the hosts jumped to a 3-0 lead, thanks to an impressive brace from Jonny Yull before Asad Kasumović added a clinically-taken fourth in stoppage time.

“I think the performance was very good,” Andrioli said following the comprehensive victory.

“I mean the number of chances we created in the first-half, and the chances we could have created as well, so the game should’ve been out of question in the first-half.

“Credit to (West Torrens Birkalla goalkeeper Nick) Harpas, he had an outstanding game, but that’s what we get from these kids.

“They can really play some good football but it’s always a little bit nervous because we’ve been conceding a lot of goals lately.

“And I think it’s good to see the boys make the finals because I said to them before the game, just reward yourself for what you did this season, you played some great football.

“I think they deserve to be playing finals.”

Andrioli believed because this is the youngest United Youth team assembled, reaching finals is a considerable achievement.

And factoring in that the side also lost six of its first eight matches to begin the season, it is a remarkable turnaround.

“The fact that we’ve gone so young and achieving finals, keeping some big teams in the NPL that are not fighting for that spot out, it’s great,” he said.

“I’m really proud of the job that we’re doing as a coaching staff from top to bottom.

“We work closely together and the fact the boys are developing as well, the league provides them the challenge that they need.”

The Young Reds now face MetroStars in an elimination final next weekend.

The boss said the new test is another learning opportunity for his squad.

“This is just another positive that they can experience playing finals, that’s why we sort of want them to be there and it’s a knockout game, anything can happen,” he continued.

“So it’s a great experience, the boys will be hungry and we’ll bring our best game and hopefully we can go one step further.”