18/04/2024

Nestory Irakunda. Picture: adelaideunited.com.au

Adelaide United wunderkind Nestory Irankunda has his mind set on performing well this post-season, as the Reds kick off their finals campaign at home against Wellington Phoenix this Friday night.

The young star said the home crowd support has been incredible all season long, helping drive their men towards the top end of the ladder, going into this year’s finals series sitting third on the table.

“The fans have done their bits this season, they have helped us 100 per cent”, he said.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have accomplished what we’ve accomplished this year.

“Grateful to have the Red Army, all the fans at Hindmarsh turn up, we love them a lot and hopefully we can get a full house on Friday”, he added.

Meanwhile, Wellington midfielder Ben Old confirmed said it’s tough to pick up points at Hindmarsh Stadium, and finals is a bigger test.

“It’s a tough place for us to go, I think for most teams it’s a tough place to go as well”, he said.

“It’s going to be a very big challenge to pay them at Hindmarsh on Friday Night.”

Irankunda has been a great find for Adelaide United, picking up eight goals and two assists in his 32 appearances ever since being signed on a scholarship deal in September 2021.

Despite not making his first senior start for Adelaide United, the 17-year-old received his first National call-up in March, replacing the ill Riley McGree in the full squad as a train-on player.

Fans will be hoping to see more of Irankunda’s eccentric goal celebrations in the last month of A-League action, with the young gun aiming to help The Red’s offence in his second finals series as a United player:

“Hopefully (there will be another backflip celebration), try to get a couple of goals, help the team out with a couple of assists,” the winger said.

“I’ll just be trying to contribute in any type of way, get a couple of goals and the celebrations will come out.”

Although Wellington will be working hard to keep manager Ufuk Talay’s final season in charge going for a few more weeks, the Reds go into the cutthroat final as favourites, backed by what will likely be a packed-out Hindmarsh Stadium and a 4-1 win/loss record in the last five meetings between the two sides

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