17/04/2024

Carl Veart's three year contract extension provides Adelaide United with an unprecedent level of stability. (Image: Adelaide United)

Carl Veart’s three-year contract extension sees Adelaide United enter the unfamiliar territory of assured stability heading into the future.

On Good Friday, Adelaide United split the points at Coopers Stadium with Syndey FC to extend the home side’s unbeaten record to 12 games. The match attracted over 14 thousand spectators, but there were two major midweek events, off the pitch, that attracted the headlines in South Australia.

Just under a week after becoming Adelaide United’s winningest A-Leagues coach, notching up the three points for the 38th occasion in the top job, Carl Veart’s tenure as the Reds’ head coach was extended by a further three seasons.

Only inaugural Adelaide United coach John Kosmina holds more victories for the club when you take the final NSL season into account, but that is sure to be eclipsed by Veart during the next spell of his era at the club.

The retention of Veart will see him become a positive statistical anomaly for a club that has traditionally seen many changes in the role he currently occupies.

In fact, between Rini Coolen being hired in 2010 and Carl Veart taking over in 2020, no Adelaide United head coach has seen more than two full seasons in charge, despite coaches like Josep Gombau, Guillermo Amor, Marco Kurz, and Gertjan Verbeek claiming silverware during their respective reigns.

Veart has not claimed any silverware during his near-three full seasons in charge yet but is on his way to ensuring the Reds appear in a third consecutive Semi-Final. Despite that, during his time as Adelaide’s head coach, he has changed how the club operates in a well-considered, sustainable way, setting an example of success for the majority of the league.

Being involved with the South Australian National Talent Centre setup for years before re-joining Adelaide United as a coach, Veart had the perfect background for a club that wanted to give the next generation of South Australians a chance at the top level.

Since Veart returned to the club as Gertjan Verbeek’s assistant, before later taking the reigns himself, he has helped foster an extensive list of young South Australian players in his senior squad including the likes of Louis D’Arrigo, Al Hassan Toure, Mohamed Toure, Kusini Yengi, Lachlan Brook, Taras Gomulka, Ethan Alagich, Alex Popovic, Jonny Yull, Joe Gauci, Nestor Irankunda, Bernardo Luka Jovanovic, Asad Kasumovic, and Panashe Madanha.

This focus on integrating the next generation of young footballers in his squad and developing them into starters had led the Reds to second on the ladder, with an incredibly young core that can often be found influencing games, especially as they near their conclusions.

This approach has led to Adelaide United’s young players developing into capable A-Leagues performers, some even earning international appearances, and often being put forward for transfers to a higher level. The money those moves earn the club supports its operation, but regardless of the turnover, the players Veart entrusts with minutes in his team repay his faith.

To blood young players while continuing to pick up results is a delicate balance, and Adelaide United CEO Nathan Kosmina was overjoyed to have kept the man that has made this concept a reality, describing his head coach’s extension as one of the club’s “biggest priorities.”

“What Carl and his coaching staff have achieved over the past three seasons has been phenomenal and thanks to Carl our football program has never been better positioned for consistent, longer-term success.”

Despite the agreement taking longer to be confirmed than he expected, Veart ensured the public that his mind never strayed from the Reds while negotiations were ongoing.

“This is my team, and I’ve said from the first day that I started coaching here that I want to be here for a long, long time,” Veart shared after his three-year extension was confirmed.

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The other major news story out of Manton Street during the week was the change of the club’s off-field leadership, with Ned Morris replacing Piet Van der Pol as Chairman, and Cor Adriaanse publicly revealing himself as the club’s majority stakeholder. The Dutch businessman promised an increase in funding, but the freshly extended Veart was clear that that would not be changing the way his side operates.

“Since I’ve come on board and working closely with Nathan (Kosmina), Bruce (Djite), and Vito (Basile), we have a very clear direction of where we want to go and they’ve given me the backing to follow that direction,” Veart said.

“We can see the benefits of what is happening now with the young players coming through, and that is not going to change. It is going to be evident in the way our sides are selected over the coming three years.”

When compared to other A-League clubs, Adelaide United’s youth infrastructure is quite modest. This makes the job Veart and his staff have done even more impressive, something he recognises and wants to ensure the new-found funding helps to improve.

“When we look across the A-League there are some clubs that have invested quite heavily in their facilities and the way they are setting up their academies, so it is important that we don’t get left behind,” Veart said.

“We are fortunate at the moment that we seem to be a little bit in front of that curve, but that curve can go quite quickly so it is important that we stay in front of that and that we provide that infrastructure into our youth programs.

“We don’t need to invest that much more into the A-League side, but it is important that we invest in [the] infrastructure that supports our youth program to make sure we provide a clear pathway for more young kids to come into the A-League squad.”

Traditionally, the A-League Men competition has been characterised by rapid and continuous change; Adelaide United has been no different. While that trend may continue for the majority of the league, the Reds have been on a steady path the last three seasons, which the club has committed to for another three by extending Veart.

This consistency in direction, ideology, and methodology may just prove to be a point of difference, especially when compared to clubs that are forced into the chaos of a total reset every few years, just like Adelaide United used to endure not so long ago.

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