New Adelaide United signing Riley McGree is plotting an assault on the Hyundai A-League in 2019/20 to help realise his career goals.
The McGree household celebrated a happy homecoming as Riley moved back in with his dad and brother, and the 20-year-old has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve during his time back in the City of Churches.
The Gawler-born playmaker kicked-started his second spell with the Reds by taking part in his first training session under new coach Gertjan Verbeek on Friday 5 July after signing from Club Brugge.
And McGree made no secret that his return to South Australia may not be long term if all goes to plan and he takes the division by storm.
“I’ve still got future ambitions to play overseas and represent the national team,” McGree said.
“I’m still young and this is a good opportunity for me to play as many games as I can and perform at a high standard for myself and the team and, hopefully, fulfil what I want to do.
“I’m still young and I’ve got time. I want to make the most of my time and I want to use this season to put my foot down and show what I’m capable of.
“I’ve jumped around a few places, here and there, but it’s good to know that I will be here for a little while knowing that it is my home, and I can have my family and friends around me.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done so far. I’m proud to represent this club and hopefully do a lot of things individually and for the team.”
Before completing the deal, McGree met with Director of Football Bruce Djite, who trained with the then 16-year-old during his playing days at Coopers Stadium, and new coach Verbeek.
The Dutchman outlined his intentions and revealed his plan to deploy the hometown hero in a variety of attacking positions: out wide, inside and in a number 10 role.
“He’s a well respected coach and he’s achieved some good results at a pretty high level so I’m excited to buy into that philosophy and hopefully the rest of the players can do that,” McGree said.
“It seems so far to be an attacking, free-flowing kind of football. He works on tactical and technical aspects and that suits me as a player.
“I want to get forward, I want to score goals and I want to play good football for the fans.”
McGree broke into the Reds first team during the 2016/17 season, playing 16 games and scoring one goal for Adelaide before heading to Belgium in July 2017.
He twice came back to Australia on loan with Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City, but this time he only had eyes for his childhood club.
“It’s a great feeling coming back home and I can’t wait to play in front of the home fans sooner rather than later,” he said.
“It’s obviously home for me. It’s where it all started. I got my opportunity here in the first place and I feel it’s only right that I get another opportunity to go overseas or play for the national team from here as well.”
He added: “I want to achieve and fulfil what i think the best of my potential is and I feel I have the potential to play overseas at a high level.”