Longtime Newcastle Jets right back Tarek Elrich has joined Adelaide United today, according to a club press release. The 26-year-old spent 2012/13 with Western Sydney Wanderers but was released at the end of the season. Elrich is the twenty-third and final member of the Reds' 2013/14 roster, as new manager Josep Gombau has retained most of the team and introduced the Spanish duo of Isaías and Cirio.
Though Elrich spent the better part of seven years in the Hunter Valley, dating to the A-League's inaugural 2005/06 season, he lasted just one season at Western Sydney, despite being a local and one of the clubs initial three signings.
Adelaide director of football Michael Petrillo explained how and why the Reds signed Elrich:
"Tarek has been on the radar for a while now but we needed to make sure that our new coach, Josep Gombau, was right across any further player signings. With the recent signings of Sanchez and Cirio completed, we got the green light to go ahead and with finalizing contract negotiations with Tarek.
"Obviously he comes here as a right back with lots of experience at A-League level but he has played at left back and also as a right winger earlier in his career, so his versatility is something that is a real bonus for us."
With Cameron Watson able to play at right back, as well as 21-year-old Daniel Bowles, Elrich is certainly not guaranteed a starting position. But as Gombau changes Adelaide's playing style and perhaps players within his formation, the vastly experienced Elrich should get a chance to be a functional part of the new-look Reds.