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Djite back at United in off-field role

Soccer

Fan-favourite former striker Bruce Djite is returning to Adelaide United as director of football, the A-League club confirmed today.

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Adelaide’s all-time leading goal-scorer – with 41 across 158 matches – will replace one-time Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar, who quit last February after just five months in the job.

The 32-year-old returns to Adelaide to work with Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek, recently appointed as United coach for the next two A-League seasons.

The 32-year-old formally retired from the game in April following stints with Korea’s Suwon FC and Indonesian PSM Makassar after helping Adelaide win the Premiers’ Plate and Championship double in 2015/16 – in his second spell with the club.

He was an instrumental part of that success, with 11 goals from the final 14 games of the season.

“Returning to Adelaide United is a great honour for me,” Djite said in a statement.

“I have created the best memories of my life in the great state of South Australia.

“Adelaide is the club and city where I signed my first ever professional contract and the people of SA have adopted me as one of their own from the very first day I stepped foot in this great state. Now I have come back to give my blood, sweat, and tears to the club in a new capacity, a new chapter in my career.”

Club chairman Piet van der Pol said Djite was “held in very high esteem right throughout Australian football”.

“In addition to this, his connection with Adelaide United and his knowledge of this club and this sport in this country make him perfectly qualified to be our Director of Football.”

A nine-time-capped Socceroo, Djite also served on the Professional Footballers’ Australia Executive Committee for more than four years.

His return follows that of another former Adelaide United great, with Eugene Galekovic signed on in a coaching role.

-with AAP

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