Seven South Australian talents who slipped through AUFC’s net

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It is no secret that Adelaide United’s and South Australia’s youth setup has produced a large number of players for the Reds, but which players eluded their grasps and flourished elsewhere?

Several young South Australian players have departed Adelaide over the years with the club’s Director of Football, Bruce Djite recently stating that they are not in the business of ‘hoarding young talents’ and players are free to explore opportunities to play regular first-team football.

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That is why in recent times, first-team contracted players like Carlo Armiento and Daniel Margush were allowed to leave and join rival clubs.

There is also the case of Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, who recently scored a hat trick for Melbourne Victory to knock his former club out of Y-League finals contention.

We took a look at some players who were sitting under United’s watchful eye before jetting off to new pastures. Whilst some of the players on the list were involved with the club’s youth setup, they never made a first-team appearance.

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Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio

The 17-year-old winger was predominantly used by Adelaide’s youth reserves side – where he scored 12 goals in 16 games across all competitions – before he was poached by Melbourne Victory.

After crossing the border, the Blackfriars Priory School old scholar scored eight goals in four convective matches – including a hat trick against his former side, costing them a spot in the Y-League grand final.

Lawrie-Lattanzio’s form saw him rewarded with a show of faith by the Victory as he was listed in the clubs 2020 Asian Champions League squad. He is also the first South Australian indigenous player to represent the Joeys at a World Cup since 2001. Could he come back to haunt the Reds in the future?

Elvis Kamsoba

Whilst Kamsoba was never selected for a United squad, he played under the noses of AUFC coaches for five years with FFSA NTC, Playford City, Adelaide Raiders and Croydon Kings before moving to Victoria’s NPL.

The now Burundi international played 49 games for the Melbourne Knights and Avondale scoring 14 goals before he was signed by the Victory. Thus far, Kamsoba has made 30 appearances for the A-League’s most supported club but so far he has failed to score a league goal.

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Johnny Koutroumbis

Koutroumbis, the 21-year-old former West Adelaide defender, made 14 appearances for Adelaide’s NPL side before signing for Newcastle Jets. Koutroumbis signed as an injury replacement in 2016 and then was rewarded with a two-year deal.

He has made 62 appearances for the Jets, including a grand final appearance and two Australia under 21 caps.

In late 2018, Koutrombis was sidelined because he contracted stage one thyroid cancer. Just six months later, he returned to action and has featured prominently for Newcastle since.

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Brandon Borrello

The 24-year-old winger, who currently plays for SC Freiburg in the German Bundesliga, was born in Adelaide and began his development with the Modbury Jets.

He joined Brisbane Roar as a 17-year-old and went on to make 80 appearances for the club – scoring 17 goals across the A-League and NPL. In 2017, Borrello moved to Germany and began his European career with FC Kaiserslautern, making 21 appearances across the first and second-team with three goals scored.

A year later, he secured a move to Freiburg and has made 12 appearances for the ‘Breisgau-Brazilians’. Borrello has also represented Australia at U20, U23 and Socceroos level.

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Andrew Marveggio

The defender played his junior football with Birkalla, MetroStars and Adelaide City before moving to the Dutch second division with Telstar at 18 years of age.

He made 21 appearances for the club before moving across the Netherlands to Fortuna Sittard. From there, there he plied his trade in Germany with FC Strausberg, VfV 06 Hildesheim and TSG Neustrelitz before securing a move to Serbia.

Marveggio signed for Super Liga club FK Zenum in 2018 but received limited game time. The European journeyman was then spotted by FK Mačva Šabac president and former international goalkeeper, Ivica Kralj, who put together a deal for him.

Marveggio’s European adventured started with strange circumstances as he struck up a friendship with ex-Reds and Dutch winger Andy Slory, who set up trials in his homeland. Who is to say his adventure will not end in the A-League?

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Bradden Inman

The Modbury Jets junior left South Australia as a 15-year-old to join Newcastle United.

After four years with the Black and Whites, he ventured to League One and plied his trade with Crew Alexandra, Peterborough United and Roachdale – notching up 194 appearances and 32 goals across the three clubs.

He also represented Scotland at U19 and U21 level before being called up by the Socceroos for a friendly against England. The attacking midfielder has now established himself in the A-League with Brisbane Roar –where he has scored four goals in 16 appearances for Robbie Fowler’s side.

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Ryan McGowan

The former Para Hills and South Australian Institute of Sport defender left Adelaide as a 16- year-old to join Heart of Midlothian in Scotland.

After 57 appearances, two goals and eight years at Hearts, McGowan enjoyed loan spells in Scotland before moving to Shandong Luneng Taishan in China. He then returned to Scotland, this time with Dundee United and made 34 appearances for the club before again embarking on another Asian adventure.

The centre back ended up back in China with Henan Jianye and Guizhou Zhicheng for two seasons until Al-Sharjah in the UAE acquired his services. From there, McGowan returned to the UK, this time with Bradford City where he made 26 appearances before signing with Sydney FC via a loan to Dundee.

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Mentions

Notable mentions go to players like Dylan McGowan, James Troisi, Marc Marino, Ben Garuccio and Stefan Mauk who all slipped through United’s net but returned home at various points in their careers.

Feature image credit: Adelaide United

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Euan James
Lover of all things football. Covering Adelaide United in 2019/20 for TFS!