Paul Reid and Mathew Leckie both rejoined the main group at the squad’s training session this morning, giving Reds Coach Aurelio Vidmar the chance to field a near full strength side against the Gold Coast.
Central midfielder Reid has only figured once in United’s past eight games due to calf and thigh problems, while the lively and youthful Leckie has recovered from a hamstring strain he suffered against the Central Coast Mariners in Round 13.
“It has been a long time. Obviously I’m looking forward to getting back into it, initially I was just looking forward to getting back into training, but with a good week on the track under my belt, I’ll hopefully put my name up for selection for Friday,” Reid said.
Throwing Reid straight back into the fray after having so little football in the past two months could be a risk for Vidmar, however there is reason to suggest Reid’s experience would be a plus for The Reds on Friday night.
Coincidentally, Reid has started in all three of United’s wins at home this season, while he has been missing from the line up on the three occasions that The Reds have been defeated at Hindmarsh Stadium in the opening 14 rounds, which includes the loss to Gold Coast United back in Round 3.
Leckie has fully recovered from his hamstring injury, which kept the highly regarded talent out of the Qantas Young Socceroos’ AFC U-19 Championship 2010 qualifiers in Indonesia.
But with added time to treat the injury due to the FIFA Match Day Break, Leckie is jumping out of his skin to get back into United’s Hyundai A-League side.
“My hamstring feels 100 per cent and I’m ready to go,” Leckie said.
“I was disappointed not being able to go away with the Australian Under 19s, but I feel really good now and will be training hard in trying to get my spot back in the first team.”
The FIFA Match Day Break last weekend gave all of the players in United’s squad that were carrying soreness added time to recover, while the break also gave a chance for some to get another solid hit out as they lined up in the National Youth League.
Cassio, Lucas Pantelis, Fabian Barbiero, Lloyd Owusu and Daniel Mullen all played 90 minutes in the Reds’ Youth Team’s 4-4 draw with the AIS on Saturday, while young Hyundai A-League rostered striker Francesco Monterosso also continued his development in the young Reds’ line up.
Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti will also return to be the reserve keeper to Eugene Galekovic, the 18 year old set to return from Indonesia on Thursday with the Qantas Young Socceroos, who successfully qualified for the AFC U-19 Championship 2010.
Only Michael Marrone (knee) and Joe Costa (long term injury list) are unavailable for selection in Friday night’s encounter.
With Adelaide’s stifling November heat wave expected to continue, The Reds will train at 8am for the next three days leading up to the match.
The Reds’ match against Gold Coast United this Friday 20 November 2009 kicks off at 7.30pm (ACDT), with the National Youth League game to be played as a curtain raiser from 4.45pm.