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Confident D’Arrigo primed for new season

Louis D'Arrigo at the VALO Training Centre.
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Louis D’Arrigo played an important role in Adelaide’s midfield last season, playing both as a defensive and central midfielder, providing support to the backline and offering in attack.

With the new Isuzu UTE A-League season just around the corner, expectations are high considering back-to-back Semi Final appearances over the last two campaigns.

However, the 21-year-old is unnerved from these expectations, having confidence in the team and himself, looking forward to Round 1 this Sunday.

“We’ve had a really long pre-season,” D’Arrigo explained. “We want to bounce back from the Semi Final from last year and we want to try and get further than that and try to make the Grand Final

“But it all starts this weekend with our first game.”

United saw a tough exit out of the Australia Cup at the end of August, falling 2-1 to Brisbane Roar in the Quarter Final, but D’Arrigo believes the team has bounced back well through a string of competitive pre-season friendlies.

Louis D’Arrigo battles it out against Charlie Austin in the Australia Cup Quarter Final.

Including the Australia Cup ties against Newcastle Jets and Roar, the Reds played four matches against A-Leagues opposition this pre-season – Western United making the trip to South Australia last month and Carl Veart’s men heading to Victoria to play Melbourne City last week.

“We’ve had a couple weeks now to look back on what we could have done better (against Brisbane).

“We’re looking really good going into Round 1, and we’re all excited because it’s been a very long pre-season.

“At the end of the day, (professional teams) are better opposition (to play in pre-season), and we want to verse better opposition to be ready for the season itself, so, it gives us a good test to verse them (A-Leagues opposition).”

D’Arrigo’s off-season also saw him represent his country at the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup. The tournament was successful overall for D’Arrigo and the Olyroos, seeing them finish 4th in Uzbekistan, although his place in the team wasn’t always a sure-thing.

“It was a really good experience and every time I play for my country it’s a really good feeling.

“I wasn’t in the team at the start, but I was in the 30-man squad.

“I think it was two days later, I got a message to be invited to the team because someone got injured.

“So, an opportunity came for me, and I knew straightaway as soon as I got to the camp that I was good enough to be in the starting team and at the end of the day I was.”

The experience itself only filled D’Arrigo with confidence, especially after he opened the scoring for the Olyroos’ tournament against Kuwait when his calculated strike from the edge of the box curled into the bottom corner.

And goals are something the former West Torrens Birkalla junior is keen to add more to his game ahead of 2022/23, having scored three this pre-season – one of which coming against Adelaide City in the Australia Cup Round of 16.

“As soon as I played (for the Olyroos), I scored in the first game and that gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament and it’s given me a lot of confidence going into the A-League season, too” he said.

“I want to add this to my game – goals and assists.

“I want to play my part for the team and be as successful as possible.”

D’Arrigo and the Reds’ A-League campaign begins this Sunday when they face Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.