Adelaide United have announced star-defender Tarek Elrich has agreed to extend his contract until the end of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season.
The one year extension to his current contract will see Elrich remain as a Red for a further three seasons, after initially extending his contract in November 2014, which would have seen his deal finish at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.
Elrich stated a major factor in his decision to remain at the Club was the security United has been able to provide him as he pursues more appearances in the Socceroos, but also the happiness he has found through his football in South Australia.
“It feels really good to extend my contract for another year,” Elrich said.
“We’ve been talking about extending my contract for a while now and we wanted to sort it out before Michael (Petrillo) left and he’s been a big help in the process.
“I’ve really been enjoying my time here in Adelaide and I’ve now been part of the Socceroos squad as well and to have the security of my club football with United leading into a World Cup is massive.
“Now I’ll continue to focus on my football and playing my absolute best week-in, week-out, giving myself the best chance of being in contention of that Socceroos squad and helping the team domestically.
Elrich joined the Club in July 2013 ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season and has progressed immensely ever since, earning his first Socceroos cap in March 2015. He was also awarded with the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season’s goal of the year with an incredible individual goal against Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium.
Elaborating on why he decided to extend, Elrich said there were numerous reasons, but the most important thing is his progress as a footballer and helping the Club achieve success in the coming seasons.
“There are a few reasons why I’ve decided to extend and, like I said, I’m loving living in Adelaide and it’s a great city to be based while playing football,” he explained.
“Also, now that I’m fighting for a place in the national team, I want to stay there. Ange (Postecoglou) has a lot of confidence in selecting players that are playing well in the A-League and I want to continue with that.
“I’m fortunate because I have a great bunch of boys around me, and my partner is now living here too and she’s loving life in Adelaide.
“Football is a part of life that you can never predict, but to have my club football secured at a great club that plays great football for the next three seasons is massive and I want to be successful here.
“I’m looking forward to going away with the Socceroos and hopefully getting a spot in the starting XI against Jordan (in Amman).
“Then, when I come back, I’ll be aiming to play the football I know I can play and I’ll continue to push myself and get better and better because I’m an incredibly harsh critic of my performances and know I can improve.”
The Club’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Petrillo, praised United’s ability to keep Elrich until 2017/18, but also Elrich himself for his outstanding achievements in a Reds shirt and his continual consistency on the pitch.
"We are delighted that Tarek has agreed to extend his contract,” Petrillo said.
“It shows the confidence that a player of Tarek's caliber has in the football programme that we now have in place at the club.
“Tarek has been a great example of a player who has come back from a low point in their career a couple of years back to re-establish himself as the premier full-back in the competition through hard work, perseverance, and determination.
“He's a person with the type of character that everyone in the club looks up to and that exemplifies the attitude of this playing group."