Reds defender relishing clash with Victory’s Berisha

They have some heated clashes in the past and Adelaide United Jordan Elsey is looking forward to another big match-up with Besart Berisha in Saturday night’s clash with Melbourne Victory.

Elsey, fresh from scoring his first Hyundai A-League goal in more than four years last weekend, will look to put the shackles on Berisha in their blockbuster Round 21 encounter.

Ahead of the clash at AAMI Park, the 23-year-old admitted going head-to-head with Victory’s fiery striker brings the best out of his game.

And while they’ve had a couple of run-ins on the pitch in recent times, Elsey has nothing but praise for Berisha.

“He’s not just a strong striker, but he’s sort of got everything,” Elsey said of the Kosovo international.

“He definitely keeps me on top of my game and I’m sure Reegs [Taylor Regan] will be excited to put the boots on and play against him as well.

“But then again we are not just focusing on him, we are focusing on the whole Melbourne Victory team.”

In an excellent season from Marco Kurz’s side so far, Elsey has been a shining light.

Jordan Elsey celebrates his goal against the Mariners last weekend.
Jordan Elsey celebrates his goal against the Mariners last weekend.

The tough-tackling defender has played all 20 matches in 2017/18 – starting 19 – and is enjoying his own resurgence after overcoming a second knee reconstruction.

“It’s good to be playing again after all the injuries and playing consistently and then doing well,” Elsey conceded.

“Credit to the players I have around me for helping me through it and the coaching staff for definitely helping me.

“It doesn’t stop here, we keep pushing on and looking forward to the end of the season.”

With Ersan Gulum suspended, Elsey is likely to be partnered in central defence against Victory by the experienced Taylor Regan.

The Reds head into the match on the back of a three-game unbeaten run, and in fourth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder, three points ahead of fifth-placed Victory.