In the 31st minute, Costa took the field of play at Coopers Stadium in front of a 16,000 strong crowd with the Reds trailing 0-1. Djite had been subbed with injury early, and now Cirio was unable to continue, making way for the South Australian to make his debut for the A-League’s southern franchise. What made the moment particularly poignant for the youngster was he found himself that day sharing the same turf (although on the opposing team) as one of his great childhood idols, Alesandro Del Piero, no less. Adelaide fought back to take a 2-1 lead and with Nick Carle expelled from the contest in the 68th minute, the 10-man Sydney looked gone before substitute Gameiro nodded home the visitors’ second goal in the 82nd minute to draw level, the 2-2 scoreline remaining till the end.
Costa is Black and White through and through, having started out at as an 11 year old. The offer however of a place in Adelaide United’s youth program at the age of 17 was an inviting development step, and after an injury plagued first season, he went on to claim the National Youth League’s golden boot scoring 14 goals for the young Reds in the 2013/2014 season. What’s more, that same season provided him the opportunity to make his A-League debut, and to train with the Senior squad. “It had a big impact on my play and me as a person” said Costa. “You learn so much from spending time with these players who are so experienced” he added. He was also in praise of the coaching staff at United, including Gombau, Valkanis and former Adelaide City legend Angelo Costanzo, saying “They taught me so much, lots of little things which have improved my game.”
He shares the same comments about current coach, another City legend, Damian Mori. Under Mori’s guidance Costa is the club’s leading goal scorer this season with 9, sitting fourth in the PS4 NPL tally, having hit a real purple patch of late.
Approaching the midway point of the season Costa is confident with the right approach the team can win more matches. “We are all bringing the right attitude. We took a hard look at ourselves after a slow start and recognised this is not Adelaide City. Our approach now is more focussed and dedicated,” he said. And it shows. Consistently strong performances have produced consistent results in both the league and cup competitions. Costa brings a wealth of experience beyond his years, and yet, at 21, has so much more to come, for which Adelaide City can be thankful.
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