Joe jumps at his Reds’ chance

Joe Gauci has warned his Adelaide United goalkeeping rival James Delianov that the Reds’ custodian role is “my spot to lose” after an outstanding display against Sydney FC.

Delianov, 21, was between the posts for the Reds’ opening 10 games of the season before succumbing to a hamstring injury.

His absence has opened the door for Gauci, who has started in Adelaide’s past three matches.

And Gauci is making the most of his chance. He earned A-League save-of-the-week honours with a spectacular effort to tip a Patrick Wood header over the crossbar in the Reds’ 1-0 weekend defeat of Sydney at Coopers Stadium.

“I’m trying not to watch it too many times” said the 20-year-old Adelaide product, who made the save in front of the club’s “Red Army” supporter group.

“As an Adelaide boy growing up in the Red Army, to have them at my back for that second half was really something special.

“It’s been a long journey to get to here so I’m just really proud and really happy.”

And now that he’s there, Gauci won’t give up his place without a fight when Delianov returns from injury next month.

“It’s my spot to lose. I’ve been given the opportunity now and you’ve got to make the most of it,” he said.

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Gauci and Delianov are part of the inexperienced trio of glovemen, the other being 21-year-old Dakota Ochsenham, who make up the Reds’ A-League goalkeeper roster this season.

“James will be back in two to three weeks, and he’ll be pushing me. That’s the competition you want,” Gauci said.

“You can’t rest, you can’t take it easy because you always have someone pushing you.

“James started the first (part) of the season and he played really well. I was pushing him and he was playing well with some really good performances.

“And Dakota was pushing myself. We’ve got really healthy competition … we’re all good goalkeepers.”

The in-form Reds will chase a seventh straight win they take on competition leaders Central Coast in Gosford on Thursday night.

“From the start of the (winning) run, we’ve grown off the pitch and on the pitch,” Gauci said.

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