Following his departure from Adelaide United in 2012, Sergio van Dijk has returned to Adelaide with the potential of becoming a Reds player for the Club’s AFC Asian Champions League campaign.
Van Dijk would qualify as United’s “Asian import” for their upcoming AFC Champions League (ACL) play-off match on 9 February, considering he is an Indonesian international footballer. Van Dijk is set to undergo fitness tests with the Reds’ fitness and medical experts prior to any potential deal being discussed.
Nevertheless, the chance to return to South Australia, where van Dijk is widely revered as one of the greatest strikers to wear the Reds’ shirt, was something too good to pass up.
“I’m still looking for a club in Asia, but Adelaide has come along and shown their interest in me,” van Dijk said. “I’ll be undergoing a fitness test and after that we’ll see what happens, but we have the best intentions of working something out.
“The first thing is this first ACL game then we’ll see what happens after that. I’m very excited for this opportunity and I think I can bring a lot to the team for the ACL play-off and if the team progresses, the group stages of the competition and beyond.”
“I’m back much sooner than I expected and the reason is very different than what I expected it to be for, but I’m very happy to be back.”
After leaving United, van Dijk enjoyed spells in Indonesia, Iran, and Thailand, continuing his scoring exploits at every club he played for. But reminiscing on his time playing in SA, van Dijk admitted the fond memories he has of the city and its people have always been positive, both on and off the park.
“Adelaide has always meant something special to me, not only because of the success that I had with my football, but also my personal life with my family and how great it was for us,” he continued.
“I imagined I would return to South Australia for my personal time and for a holiday, but this is a chance for me to play with Adelaide again.
“The time that I spent here was great and one of the highlights of my entire career was when I was top scorer of the A-League with United.
“In particular I’ve always remembered that free-kick that I scored against Melbourne Victory away from home in 2010/11. It was a great season in total, not just for me, but the team as well and that’s always stood out.
“But also the people of Adelaide are amazing and I really feel home here. It’s my second home to be honest.”
Van Dijk was at Adelaide’s game against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday evening, witnessing the Reds outclass their opponents and surge to a 3-1 victory.
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