Adelaide United Director of Football, Bruce Djite, says he was glad to have finally secured the services of Spanish midfielder Juande at his official unveiling on Friday.
Djite said he was “exceptionally relieved” to have signed Juande in what was an arduous and protracted process due to the ongoing restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a very difficult process as we know with Covid it’s very hard with borders being shut and everything,” Djite told reporters at Juande’s first press conference.
“It’s a long process and I feel for Juande and his family, two young kids.
“So it’s not easy being in a hotel room for two weeks, it’s not easy waiting for exemptions to come through but very, very excited to have him here.”
Djite was more than confident the 34-year-old will make a huge impression on the squad and be an integral player in the dressing room.
He added that a number of the young midfielders in the team will be able to learn from him.
“We all think he’ll have a significant impact,” he said.
“We think his quality speaks for itself but also off the field as well, he’s a player that some of our younger guys can learn from.
“We’ve got (Josh) Cavallo, (Louis) D’Arrigo, (Joe) Caletti, good young midfielders and I think they can learn a lot from Juande by speaking with him, but more importantly by watching him play.
“How he positions himself, his ability to read the game, the passing ability of Juande as well so a lot of attributes for our younger players to learn from him.”
Djite also discussed the Reds’ chances of making a maiden Westfield W-League finals appearance.
Adelaide will finish in the top four if Sydney FC Women beat Canberra United Women this afternoon.
“It would be a dream come true for all our women to make the finals, and they deserve it,” he said.
“They’ve honestly had a very good season, culminating in the fantastic attendance and performance and result last week and I don’t know anyone around the country who would say that our girls don’t deserve to be in the finals.
“Like I said fingers crossed and hopefully Sydney FC can do us a favour.”