Cornthwaite may be used in goal

A depleted Adelaide United might be forced to use Robbie Cornthwaite as a reserve goalkeeper in the Asian Champions League final against Gamba Osaka at Hindmarsh Stadium next week.

A depleted Adelaide United might be forced to use Robbie Cornthwaite as a reserve goalkeeper in the Asian Champions League final against Gamba Osaka at Hindmarsh Stadium next week.

Cornthwaite would be a back-up to 17-year-old Mark Birighitti who is the last recognised keeper standing in the Reds' squad. Eugene Galekovic's ACL campaign came to an end after he received his second yellow card of the final series on Wednesday while Daniel Beltrame is recovering from a serious knee injury.

Birighitti has been competent in his three Hyundai A-League appearances but the team needs someone on standby if disaster strikes.

The young recruit said Cornthwaite, who is a defender and stands at 197-centimetres tall, was the first player that came to mind.

"He's got a good physique as a goalkeeper so I think he could do the job if I get red carded or get injured. Touchwood I don't," Birighitti said.

Coach Aurelio Vidmar was reluctant to name an understudy for his teenage goalkeeper but said he'd probably have to nominate someone for that role on the team list next week.

"Fingers crossed nothing happens to Mark," he said.

"Generally, touchwood I've probably put the mockers on the goalkeeper now, generally nothing should happen."

But just as a precaution Adelaide will be handling Birighitti with kid gloves to make sure he's raring to go on Wednesday.

"Peter (Blazincic - goalkeeper coach) is going to take it easy on him so he doesn't come into too much contact during the course of the week … and he should be fine."

Birighitti said he was looking forward to the challenge of manning the goals next week but admitted he thought his ACL debut may have been forced upon him a little earlier.

The former Perth boy said he was ready to take to the pitch when Galekovic brought down Gamba Osaka player Roni late in the second half of the first leg.

"I was ready to go on, put my shin pads on, I thought he was going to get a straight red card but lucky it was only a yellow card," he said.

Birighitti said his recent appearances in the Hyundai A-League, along with the normally sound United defence, had given him confidence ahead of the big Hindmarsh Stadium clash.

Words of wisdom from Galekovic had also put his mind at ease.

"I've got a few tips off him. And he goes … 'We are in a losing position and just go out there and enjoy the game, nothing to lose,'" he said.

The Reds look set to replace the suspended Ang Costanzo with Michael Valkanis while midfielder Paul Reid and Fabian Barbiero are a chance of returning from injury too.