Red tape has forced Bruce Djite to settle for irregular minutes to begin the 2017 K League Challenge season but he hopes to cement a starting spot in the coming weeks.
The Suwon FC striker made just his second start of the year in South Korea’s second tier on Sunday, scoring in a 3-3 draw with Ansan Greeners.
That was Djite’s second goal of the season – he sits behind only Lee Seung-hyun (3) in Suwon’s scoring standings – and the Australian claims it isn’t his form that has seen coach Cho Deok-je keep him on the bench.
Djite has come off the bench in three of Suwon’s six league games so far this season.
“Form wise I feel quite good,” he told Goal.
“Second goal in two starts is a good start but there are many more games to come this season and it is important to stay consistent.
— Modern Seoul (@ModernSeoul) April 9, 2017
“The first couple of games I was unable to start as an Under 22 player must be in the starting XI and our only fit Under 22 player was a striker.
“Now the other boys are back it has allowed me to get back into the starting XI.”
Suwon were relegated from the K League Classic – South Korea’s top tier – last year, with Djite joining the club from Adelaide United midway through the campaign.
Cho’s side started 2017 strongly with three consecutive wins before a loss and two draws, plus elimination from the Korean FA Cup, over the past three weeks.
Suwon sit fourth in the table on 11 points, just three points behind leaders Gyeongnam.
“We have the squad, the quality and characters to win promotion this season and that is the long-term goal,” Djite said.
Bruce Djite, Suwon FC
“I think all is going well so far and it has been a solid start to a season in a very even competition.
“It is far too early to look at the table and we are just taking it game by game, and staying 100 per cent focused week to week.”
In his second season at Suwon, which is also home to former Melbourne Victory captain Adrian Leijer, Djite has taken his family with him for 2017 after they stayed in Australia during his first three months at the club last year.
“The family has settled in really well and they feel comfortable here in Korea, it is a fantastic place to live,” the ex-Adelaide and Gold Coast United forward said.
“Having the family here unlike last season allows me to be more relaxed on and off the field.”
Djite, Leijer and Co. will visit Busan I’Park on Saturday.