After two seasons as Adelaide United’s Director of Football, Bruce Djite has confirmed that he will leave the club at the end of the season to take on a role as CEO for the committee of Adelaide.
“Adelaide United always has and will always have a special place in my heart,” Djite said in a club statement on Tuesday.
“I have been fortunate enough to come back to the Club as its Director of Football and have enjoyed working with our phenomenal players, coaching and high performance staff, and administration staff.
“I am proud of the great environment and culture we have rebuilt within the Club and it is fantastic to see the Club return to putting South Australia and South Australians first, whilst still attracting great interstate and international talent.
“I believe the Club is better positioned for growth today than it ever has been and, while there is always further improvement to be made, the re-establishment of the Club’s true identity will continue to see it do well on and off the field.“
It is not the first time the Reds have found themselves looking for a replacement after a club legend handed in their resignation, Djite succeeded the club’s first ever captain, Aurelio Vidmar, in the role.
Vidmar quit after just five months, citing that he struggled to cope with the heavy administration workload of the job.
The search is now on for Djite’s successor, Kick360 understands another former player has already been approached for the position.
Since taking the role of Director of Football in June 2019, Djite has widely been credited for drastically improving club culture and youth development pathways.
Following Djite’s appointment, United focused more heavily on producing local talent.
During his reign, local players such as Al Hassan Toure, Mohamed Toure, Louis D’Arrigo, Lachlan Brook, Kusini Yengi, Pacifique Niyongabire, Taras Gomulka, Noah Smith and Joe Gauci have all been given opportunities in the first team setup.
Club legends such as Carl Veart, Ross Aloisi and Eugene Galekovic have also been invited back to the club in a coaching capacity.
Djite also oversaw the Reds lifting their third FFA Cup in 2019, in which Al Hassan Toure played a pivotal role in the 4-0 thrashing of Melbourne City in the final.
Riley McGree also goes down as one of Djite’s biggest success stories, in July 2019 McGree returned to the club for an undisclosed fee.
One year later he departed to Charlotte FC (signing on loan to Birmingham City on the same day) after a scintillating season with the Reds, turning a profit for the club and also making a move that would eventually result in his recent Socceroos debut.
Djite’s final pieces of business will wrap up over the coming weeks, including some important contract renewals.
“We should announce a couple later this week” Djite told SEN SA Breakfast this morning.
“I’m expecting over the next couple weeks that we will have some more positive announcements to make about some players and maybe some staff as well.”
Adelaide’s foreign contingent of Javi Lopez, Juande and Michael Jakobsen are all out of contract at the end of the season, as well as the likes of Tomi Juric, Jordan Elsey, Michael Marrone and Nathan Konstandopoulos.
Image Supplied: Bruce Djite Instagram