Young Reds continue strong form

Adelaide United’s Seniors have continued their strong RAA NPL SA form, with a commanding 4-1 win over Sturt Lions at Karinya Reserve.

Adelaide United’s Seniors have continued their strong RAA NPL SA form, with a commanding 4-1 win over Sturt Lions at Karinya Reserve.

United were boosted with the availability of Ethan Alagich, Luke Duzel, Asad Kasumović, Panashe Madanha, Bernardo, and Jonny Yull in lieu of Nestory Irankunda (Socceroos) and Luka Jovanović who has started the last two A-League games.

A goal from Sturt’s Samed Altundag on the 37th minute mark was sandwiched between strikes from Giuseppe Bovalina, Yull, Bernardo, and Nathan Amanatidis, with United firmly in control.

To the delight of Reds fans aplenty, Bernardo played a full match and was constantly a handful for the Lions both individually and for involvement of his teammates, bagging a goal of his own to put the contest to bed.

Head of Youth Football, Airton Andrioli, was pleased that his side kept their foot on the gas, saying: “We had a few players come down this week which always helps, but of course they are expected to perform each time.

“The message is always the same because Carl (Veart) could call on players from our NPL team at any time, so every player has to work hard and be prepared to put in the same work off the ball.

“By doing that the individual and team quality shows up, and we gelled well to get a good win on the weekend.

“Nobody is entitled to this shirt, and you have to work hard for it every game.

“Many of our players do this, but I have to credit Giuseppe (Bovalina) as well who has an engine like I’ve never seen, and I was delighted he was able to score our first goal on the weekend.”

The win has United at the top of the table after the first five games above MetroStars on goal difference, but Andrioli is first-focused, as always, on developing the next generation.

The Reserves first set the tone for a dominant Reds weekend, with a 3-0 win thanks to goals by Ryan White, Joey Garuccio off the bench, and Jake Porter.

White and Porter continued their scintillating goal-scoring form across both Reserves and Seniors levels, after their part in an 8-1 Federation Cup win against Modbury Vista during last weekend’s bye.

White scored a hat-trick and Porter a brace in that game, to follow the latter’s first Senior goal against Adelaide Olympic earlier this month.

Yull’s screamer:
Jonny Yull scored one of the goals of the season already, with a ‘weak’ foot rocket well outside the box and into the top corner that stunned the home side.

Yull, 18, has been known throughout SA’s ranks for some time, having made his Isuzu UTE A-League debut as United’s third-youngest player at the start of 2021.

“Firstly, Jonny is a wonderful kid and we all really enjoy having him around and he always seems to play with a smile on his face,” Andrioli highlighted.

“His talent is unquestionable; he has that ability to move and hit the ball outside of the box on his preferred right, and his left.

“He’s scored some wonderful goals before and it’s very much in his locker, and we look forward to his continued development in our system.”

Modbury challenge:
Up next for United will be a stern test against Modbury Jets, whose first team are fresh off a pulsating 4-3 comeback against South Adelaide.

The Jets sit fourth on the table and will be eager to bring down a United side full of confidence.

“Modbury’s a team that never says die and they keep on working and working until the final whistle,” Andrioli said.

“We’ll be keeping a close eye on the McCabe brothers, who instigate much of what Modbury bring to the table, so if we can stifle them, it will go a long way towards us getting the result.

“It’s going to be a difficult test but that’s the beauty of it, so hopefully we can continue what we’ve been doing so far.”

Socceroos and the growing United connection:
Andrioli was wondering in anticipation, with the rest of Australia, to see if Nestory Irankunda would make his Socceroos debut against Ecuador on Friday night.

There has been much press and hype for the forward’s maiden Socceroos voyage, and he was named in the match day squad after a late withdrawal from another South Australian in Riley McGree.

“I said to Nestor before he left to try and stay close to people like (Awer) Mabil for that familiar face and someone who has had a similar journey to provide him with a bit of guidance,” Andrioli acknowledged.

“So I really loved Awer’s comments post-game after he scored that goal, when he credited the ‘inner-Nestor’ in him for the thumping shot.

“It’s great to see and I’ll certainly be looking to see if Nestor can get some minutes in Tuesday’s game.”

There is an abundance of talent streaming through United’s system, with fans right to be brimming with excitement.

United’s Reserves will kick-off Round 6 against Modbury Jets at 2:45pm at ServiceFM Stadium (Pitch 2) this Sunday, with their Seniors to clash at 5:00pm on Pitch 1.

Upcoming match details:
2023 RAA NPL SA – Round 6
Adelaide United vs Modbury Jets
Sunday, 2 April 2023, Kick-off: 5:00pm (ACDT)
ServiceFM Stadium

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