He has been in Adelaide since February and has already been part of the Reds’ 2010 AFC Champions League campaign, but Adelaide United FC striker Sergio van Dijk is feeling a sense of excitement, about entering his first Hyundai A-League season at his new club.
Preparing for his first Hyundai A-League campaign as a Red after playing the past two domestic seasons with the Brisbane Roar, van Dijk has a spring in his step as United continues its pre-season program in the lead up to its season opener in 24 days.
After spending the Reds’ month long off season back in Holland, the 27 year old cannot wait to bring his best to the table for United, which includes goals and plenty of them.
“I’m feeling good and sharp. A break always gives you energy but also freshens up your mind and I’m looking forward to the regular season,” van Dijk said.
“It is already less than a month (until the first game) and then we start the real thing.”
Van Dijk admits it will be strange initially and take some getting used to, when he starts running out in Adelaide United colours in the Hyundai A-League, particularly when he comes up against his former side.
The first time van Dijk is scheduled to meet Brisbane Roar is on September 18 at Suncorp Stadium, and it is already a game he has pencilled in as one he cannot wait to be part of.
“Of course I’m looking forward to the confrontation with Brisbane, but it’s different now…you’re playing in a different strip and it might be strange for the first couple of games but I think I’ll get used to it,” van Dijk said.
Van Dijk scored twice in United’s seven AFC Champions League matches, and the renowned marksman enters season six knowing there are high expectations on him to produce goals. However, despite the pressure of trying to back up his total of 25 goals from the past two Hyundai A-League seasons, van Dijk is not letting it affect him.
“I think that obviously people want to put pressure on me, but it’s up to me to not feel it and just do my job,” the Dutchman said.
“I’m confident if I just do what I’m good at then I’m going to score goals, so for me there is not really any pressure.”
Rather than be weighed down by expectations, van Dijk is instead driven by one thing, and that is a Hyundai A-League championship. The closest he has come to the ultimate prize was in 2008/09 when Brisbane Roar reached the Preliminary Final, before ironically being ousted by Adelaide United at Hindmarsh.
“Sure I want to score the same amount of goals I scored last season, or a little bit higher because we play more games now, but I want to become champion,” van Dijk said.
“I hope all of the fans will still stand behind us, and I think if we do this together as a supporter base and the playing group, then we can make it a good season.”
With fellow Dutchman in Rini Coolen announced as United’s new Head Coach for the next two seasons, van Dijk sees it as a bonus being able to communicate with Coolen in his native tongue, but does not believe the shared nationality makes too much difference when it comes down to getting the message through and the job done on the field.
“For me it’s no different whether it’s an Australian coach or a Dutch coach,” Van Dijk said.
“The only thing is we can speak the same language and that will make it a little bit easier, but with any coach it’s the same deal and you listen to what they have to say.”
This Friday night van Dijk will get his first chance to face Hyundai A-League opposition as a Red when United hosts the Wellington Phoenix in a pre-season friendly at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night, July 16 (Kick-Off 7.30pm ACST).
Adelaide United 2010/11 memberships are also on sale now through Ticketek.
For all enquiries and information, contact www.adelaideunited.com.au