Van Dijk welcomes competition

Adelaide United’s star striker Sergio van Dijk can see only positives for both him and the club when fellow noted goal scorer Bruce Djite joins the Reds from next season.

Adelaide United-s star striker Sergio van Dijk can see only positives for both him and the club when fellow noted goal scorer Bruce Djite joins the Reds from next season.

Djite-s imminent return for his second stint at the Reds will give United two strong, imposing and potent targets up front and it is certain to be fascinating to watch how Head Coach Rini Coolen utilises the duo. Combined, the pair scored a total of 27 goals in the Hyundai A-League last season, van Dijk winning the Golden Boot as he finished with 17 for the season, while Djite knocked home 10 in 22 appearances for Gold Coast United.

Van Dijk as good as owned the position at the pointy end of the Reds- attack last season, but the 28 year old is certain to receive tough competition from Djite, who is expected to arrive in Adelaide in July once he has completed his loan deal to Chinese club Jiangsu Sainty.

The common belief among clubs, coaches and players is that competition for places is a healthy and significant ingredient in order to achieve success. This perception is no different for van Dijk, who believes Djite-s acquisition will bring the best out of him.

“I want to win the league and you need a strong squad to do that, and adding Bruce to the team is better for all of us,” van Dijk said.

“It also brings some competition in, which is good for me because it will keep me on my toes, so that-s only going to improve myself and also benefit the team.”

Averaging better than a goal every two games in his three Hyundai A-League seasons to date (the first two of which he played for Brisbane Roar before joining the Reds at the start of 2010/11), van Dijk-s record speaks for itself. But although he has 42 goals to his name, van Dijk is hungry for more and is determined to keep striving to take his game and his conversion rate to another level, something he thinks is achievable, particularly with Djite being at the club as well.

“Can I improve? I think yes, and I want to improve,” van Dijk said.

“As a striker I want to score more goals, I want to score every chance I get, so every year has to be better than the year before.”

It are these lofty heights van Dijk has set himself that has made the Dutch marksman one of the Hyundai A-League-s most prolific strikers. Back at training after a lengthy break, in which he spent time back in Holland, van Dijk is delighted to be back into some kind of routine. Despite the extended pre season, with the league only expected to commence in October, van Dijk does not believe it will be difficult staying motivated.

“It-s not going to be that hard because I-m happy to be back playing football,” van Dijk said.

“We had a lot of time off and I-m happy to be in a scheduled life again.”

An arduously long pre season may not bother van Dijk, but with ambitions of bettering his goal haul of last season, he is probably counting down the days until the first game.