‘We’ve been building towards this moment’: Andrioli

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Adelaide United Youth Head Coach, Airton Andrioli was full of praise for his side’s ‘complete’ Grand Final performance against Modbury Jets on Friday night.

The Young Reds dominated from the outset, and it was the sheer pace of Panashe Madanha who set the tone with a breakaway goal in the eighth minute.

United continued to pile on the heat after the half-time 3-0 score, with four further goals to run out emphatic 7-2 winners at ServiceFM Stadium.

Ethan Alagich, who donned the captain’s armband on the night in what is a rotation system through the season, scooped the Player of the Final accolade for a commanding display in the centre of midfield.

Andrioli is completely honoured to have helped deliver United its first RAA NPL SA title.

“It was almost a perfect game in a Grand Final and something that you don’t see too often,” Andrioli said.

“It’s one thing to go in with a plan like we did to stop their most dangerous players and control the game with our attacking style, but to execute it on the biggest stage is different again.

“I’m extremely happy and proud of every player in this youth environment we have been building on for the last three years.”

The future is bright

The squad that played in the Final on Friday night contained an average age of 17.2.

The team that represented in the Reserves Final on Saturday had players born in 2008.

These are the stars of the future, and the next goal is getting more and more of these players into the Isuzu Ute A-League first team.

While the Reserves were not able to overcome Adelaide City in Saturday’s Grand Final, Andrioli particularly highlighted the development of those younger players as one of the most rewarding aspects of this year’s campaign.

“I really am incredibly pleased with how the ‘Reserves’ squad has come along even though we are one team, and it was just remarkable for them to make the Final and play the way they did this season,” he said.

“I’ve never had so much pleasure watching a group of players who are ready to adapt to play at any level and any situation we ask of them and from such a young age as well.

“A lot of that team played in the Seniors at times, so really it was still a fantastic finish to this three-cycle we’ve had, and we will keep building every year.”

Back to the roots

Andrioli will now head back home to Brazil for the first time in seven years, in what has been an extremely rewarding recent period for the coach.

Andrioli will visit his former Club – and Luis Suárez’s current team – Grêmio, and catch-up with old friends who are imparting the Samba style on the next generation currently.

It all bodes well for the future of Adelaide United’s youth program.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the family and old team-mates of mine who are also coaches now, and it will be a good chance to reflect on the season and think about what we can add next year,” Andrioli said.

“My family were actually watching our final via the NPL TV app which I didn’t even know worked in Brasil, so that was another great sort of story that comes from a Grand Final.

“It will be nice to mostly watch the football and not coach for this next little bit, but ultimately deep inside I’m already itching to get back and restart and continue to do what we do and keep developing the next South Australian talent.”

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