Djite on verge of dream come true
It’s fair to say that Bruce Djite is a player going places and on Sunday against China at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, he just may get to fulfill one of his dreams; to start a game alongside Harry Kewell.
It-s fair to say that Bruce Djite is a player going places and on Sunday against China at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, he just may get to fulfill one of his dreams; to start a game alongside Harry Kewell.
For that to happen, it may mean that Djite will actually take over the position that Kewell has held for the past three weeks, as the lone striker, while the Socceroos captain will perhaps move to a roving midfielder role.
It-s a position Djite is expected to fill for the Australian Olympic team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which will be held in August this year and coach Pim Verbeek could give him his a taste of it in the cauldron of a near capacity crowd at ANZ Stadium, for Australia-s final match of this World Cup qualifying phase.
Given that the match is dead rubber in terms of qualification, Verbeek has chosen a young and inexperienced squad, but given that Djite has made appearances of the bench in two of the last three games, he is a good chance of starting for the senior side for the first time.
“I wouldn-t say surprised (pauses), maybe I am a little, but there is a lot of hard work put into these things and to get a start, if it does happen, I will be ecstatic,” he said, after training at Parramatta Stadium, when asked if he would be surprised to get a start against China. “What-s most important is we go out and win the game.”
For the former Adelaide United striker, the past month has been a huge stepping stone in his career and he really enjoyed the experience of playing and training with one of the players he looked up to as a kid.
“Yeah definitely a fantastic experience,” he said of training alongside Kewell. “Just training with him is a great experience; if I play with him on Sunday night, it would be a dream come true for me.
“He is always giving me good advice and just watching him play, you can learn so much. Whenever you do talk with him, he has always got positive things to say and that-s positive for me and helping me with my game.
“It-s not directly, like a teacher-student relationship, but more recognizing what he does and when he does it; he-s a different type of player to me, so its not like I play like him, but more life advice; career advice.”
While there is no doubt this will be the biggest match of his short career to date, the Genclerbirligi (Turkey) bound front man will try and treat it like any normal game.
“Of course you will be representing your country and they-ll be a lot of people there, but I will treat it like any other game which is give it 110%.
With the Olympics only a few months away, Djite believes this is a terrific opportunity for a few of the Olyroos to really shine, but to stake a claim for further honours with the national team when the next qualifiers start in September.
“Its important to get as much game time as possible and with some of the senior boys going away, its given some of the guys coming through, like myself, a better chance of playing and get more game time under our belt. It-s not just as important in a Socceroo sense, but also in the lead up to the Olympics.
“I have been in every single camp since Pim-s taken over as coach, so if I can keep doing well in training and keep giving good performances, there is no reason why I can-t keep being part of the squad on a regular basis.
As for Sunday-s game, Djite is confident this young Australian team will give a good account of itself, despite China bringing a full strength squad for the match.
“Of course it-s a dead rubber, but there-s a lot of people that are going to be there supporting us and expecting nothing less than a win, so it our responsibility to put on a good performance for them.
“We will take them very seriously; I know they haven-t had the best of qualifying campaigns, but they are going to come out here to win the game and upset a lot of people and we are not going to let them do that.”