Riley McGree (left) of Adelaide United on the ball.
Riley McGree (left) of Adelaide United on the ball. DAVID MARIUZ

Learning McGree gets lesson from Endo

BOOM Adelaide United rookie Riley McGree has conceded mixing it with Japanese legend Yasuhito Endo was a "next-level" education in Wednesday night's 3-0 loss to Asian Champions League nemesis Gamba Osaka.

McGree was born in the same year Endo made his J-League debut in 1998 and just 10 when the 152-game international steered Gamba to Champions League glory against Adelaide United.

"He is the boss, cruises in the midfield, doesn't look like he gets out of second gear, but you can tell he is really effective and been around for a very long time," Gawler-bred McGree said of 37-year-old Endo.

"It was unreal. You learn from these things. He has so much experience, on the next level. You can definitely take pointers."

McGree, 18, has exceeded all expectations in his 11-game debut season.

His party tricks, control and aggression in the final third - regularly in unison with No.10 Marcelo Carrusca - have provided light in the gloom of a troubled title defence.

"I am starting to get used to tempo and what to expect from the other teams," said McGree, who has started in five matches this campaign.

"It gets down to being given the opportunity. I wasn't expecting to play too many games this season."

A controversial omission from Adelaide's ACL squad, Argentine Carrusca will bolster the team for Saturday night's A-League grudge match against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

"He's a great player, shows that class and hopefully we get the result we want," McGree said of Carrusca.

"Victory are a good side, up there at the top of the table. The boys have to keep their heads up. In the A-League we beat Newcastle Jets 1-0, so hopefully we can continue that form."

News Corp Australia


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