Slory to debut for Adelaide United

January 31, 2011
By Steve Larkin

Former Dutch international Andwele Slory will make his A-League debut as Adelaide United take an attacking punt against Gold Coast on Wednesday night.

Slory will come from Adelaide's bench along with fellow attacker Matthew Leckie in the crucial clash on the Gold Coast.

Third-placed Adelaide enter the fixture four points clear of Gold Coast, who have a match in hand.

Slory has battled to overcome a thigh injury since joining Adelaide after Christmas, while Leckie has come off the bench in the past two games since a prolonged absence following knee surgery.

Reds coach Rini Coolen conceded having the two attacking wingers as substitutes was a gamble.

"It's a kind of risk, it's a risk we need to know," Coolen said on Tuesday.

Slory was fit to feature as a potential late game changer, he said.

"He can do something at the end of the game, he's fit enough for that, he's trained hard for it," Coolen said.

"We have to focus on everything to win the game.

"That is also the reason why I take some players on the bench so we can change the game if necessary, so we try everything to win the game tomorrow."

Adelaide's 2-1 loss to Central Coast Mariners last Saturday night placed them at long odds to steal second spot from the Mariners, four points clear of the Reds.

But Coolen refused to give up on finishing second behind runaway league leaders Brisbane Roar.

"There is always a chance, if you start winning games, you never know what happens," Coolen said.

"A draw could be a result tomorrow, then you have to accept that you're not number two any more - I don't think that is professional enough, we want to focus and fight until the last day ... to be the number two."

Gold Coast have injury concerns with Dutchman Bas van den Brink an unlikely starter because an ankle injury and wing-back Adama Traore in doubt with a knee injury.

Star striker Shane Smeltz will return after missing Sunday's loss to Melbourne Victory with a virus.

Midfielder Zenon Caravella also could play against Adelaide, the club he will join next season.

Caravella could be pitted against Reds midfielders Adam Hughes and Paul Reid, both rumoured to be recruiting targets of the Gold Coast.