Reds touch down in Tashkent


The Reds have made a low key entry ahead of Tuesday’s AFC Champions League opener against Bunyodkor.

The Reds have made a low key entry ahead of Tuesday-s AFC Champions League opener against Bunyodkor.

Flying from Sydney to Bangkok and then en route to Tashkent, where the time difference is five and a half hours behind ACDT, there was little fanfare or media attention as Adelaide United-s travelling party touched down in the Uzbek capital, which could partly be put down to the fact that it was just after 2am on Sunday morning.

The trip was relatively smooth sailing, except for a minor drama, that appeared major initially, before the plane had left the tarmac in Bangkok.

A male passenger suffered a mild heart attack, causing a lengthy delay. Enter Adelaide United owner and doctor Richard Noble to the rescue. The man could count himself lucky and thankful that Noble was on the plane as he attended to the man until paramedics arrived on the scene.

The incident resulted in the flight arriving over an hour later than scheduled, but despite their ‘middle of the night- arrival, striker Bruce Djite said the team was in high spirits.

“Obviously it was a very long flight since we left Sydney but it wasn-t too bad and the mood amongst the boys is quite good,” Djite said.

“Everyone has got their own way to get over jetlag and a lot of the boys in our team are used to travelling so I think they will be ok.”

A fortnight ago Reds trio Mark Birighitti, Antony Golec and Daniel Mullen were in Tashkent with the Qantas Under 23s for a game in sub zero conditions. After witnessing a snow covered pitch for the Olympic qualifier, the Reds trio warned their team mates to possibly brace themselves for more of the same, but Djite was pleasantly surprised when stepping foot outside, the mercury hovering somewhere between five and ten degrees Celsius.

“Everyone has felt the cold before so it is no shock here and hopefully the next couple of days stay this warm,” a rugged up Djite said.

Having a couple of days to acclimatise, Djite and the Reds will be hoping to turn the heat up against Bunyodkor on Tuesday (6 March) when United-s 2012 AFC Champions League campaign kicks off.

Kick-Off is at 10.30pm ACDT and the match can be seen LIVE on Fox Sports.