Adelaide United star strikes a balance

Bruce Djite (foreground) is finding his stride as an elite athlete and Griffith Business School student.

Adelaide United striker and Griffith University student Bruce Djite understands the value of timing.

It’s how he manages to juggle a high-profile sporting career and a role at accounting firm PKF Kennedy where he is helping the firm strategically grow its footprint in Adelaide,all while studying for a Bachelor of Business at Griffith Business School.

More than six weeks after the exhilaration of defeating the Western Sydney Wanderers before a grand final crowd of 50,000 fans, Bruce is back in training for the next A-League season.

It comes after a post-finals speaking tour and a well-earned holiday with his family in Dubai and Africa.

He is also keen to build on Adelaide United’s success last season, although he doesn’t underestimate the challenge of securing back-to-back grand finals.

“We’ve just gone through the most successful season in the history of the club; it was very satisfying to accomplish the mission, a ticking of the box if you like,” said Bruce.

“Naturally our mindset is one where we have a strong belief in ourselves, but the challenge for both the coach and players now is to do it all over again.”

However, for Bruce the challenge also comes with the added pressure of completing his Bachelor of Business degree as an external student with Griffith University. He started the course during his tenure with Gold Coast United in 2011 and since then has successfully managed the rigors of sport with the discipline of study.

“As a sportsperson you want to do the best you can with everything in life,” said Bruce.

“My sporting career is extremely important because it’s my job, but when I have a day off I have to make sure I hit the books.

“It actually works well because sometimes when you’re in the middle of the season it’s good to have something stimulating outside of football.

“The process was tougher leading into the finals series, but juggling the priorities always comes down to time management and being organised. It’s also about not taking on too much — about knowing what you’re capable of doing and doing it well.

“It helps a lot that Griffith University has been quite flexible. Exams when training are always an issue. If there is a clash I usually do them on the same day as other students, but not necessarily at the exact same time. They are also good at having me do my exams with external invigilators.”

Bruce said he usually takes on just one or two subjects a semester and plans to complete his degree by the time he is ready to retire from the sporting field in about five or six years.

However, the talented striker ultimately plans to use the degree as a stepping stone to an administrative role in the sports industry.

“It would be fantastic to stay in the sport as either a manager or director, or perhaps even as a CEO of a club or football federation down the track,” he said.