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Reds look to Veart to rekindle their fire

Manton St Tales

Respected former Adelaide United player Carl Veart will coach the team for the remainder of the strangest of A-League seasons. Spiro Karanikos-Mimis assesses the task ahead for the fan favourite.

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An electrician is defined as someone who installs, operates, maintains, or repairs electric devices or electrical wiring.

Colloquially they’re called a sparky.

I know its lame to make the analogy but Carl Veart, a former electrician whose nickname is Sparky, has been hired to… erm… re-ignite the Reds.

Loved and respected by Reds’ fans, Veart knows the game well.

His career as a player saw him spend time with Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Millwall.

He’s played for the Socceroos and also was in the 1992 Olympics squad.

He scored the first NSL and A-League goal for the Reds.

And it wasn’t uncommon to hear the supporter group break out into a chant of “we all dream of a team of Carl Vearts” during matches.

Yesterday, Bruce Djite, United’s Director of Football, described Veart as a legend of the club, and that’s accurate.

But this is a new challenge for the softly spoken, Whyalla-born star.

The Reds were in disarray when the season stopped due to the pandemic and Veart has a big job ahead to turn things around.

Adelaide is still a realistic chance of a finals berth, and this is the minimum fans expect.

Veart stated yesterday that the goal was to win as many of the remaining five matches as possible and make finals.

He expressed his preference for an attacking style of football but it’s certain he will make adjustments to the tactics and structure that was implemented by Verbeek.

He also mentioned that he wants the players to enjoy training and playing.

But does he have enough time? That remains the biggest unknown.

Verbeek lost the playing group – there’s no doubt about it.

So it begs the question: will the players respect Veart or simply see him as Verbeek’s assistant, knowing there is a chance someone else will be at the helm come next season?

Djite said that Veart has a golden opportunity to show his worth and get the gig full-time, but stopped short of saying he was the preferred option (he did say he had an advantage on other applicants).

The season is re-starting on July 16, so the Reds have four weeks of training to smooth out the problems and re-focus for the run home.

It will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

Joining Veart on the bench is former West Adelaide Sharks midfielder and Solomon Islands manager Airton Andrioli.

They know each other well from their time together at Football SA, so it won’t take long for them to adjust to working together again.

But in the end, it will come down to the players and if they want it bad enough.

On their day, United is a very good team – but those days (especially towards the end of Verbeek’s spell) were few and far between.

When the league stopped, Adelaide still needed to play Melbourne City, Wellington, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

Djite suggested in yesterday’s press conference that the fixtures will be different from what was originally scheduled. He was probably referring to the order of the matches changing, rather than the opponents.

Assuming Adelaide does need to play those five teams, it won’t be an easy stretch.

The pandemic has reduced the personnel Veart will have at his disposal. Michael Maria is stranded overseas and Mirko Boland, who was leaving anyway, won’t be returning.

Interestingly, the club confirmed that Chinese important Yongbin Chen is still in Adelaide: they have been unable to get him home.

Al Hassan Toure will be available for selection, giving fans with the salivating prospect of seeing him play with his younger brother Mohammed.

And one would assume that James Troisi has gotten over the injuries which were dogging him.

It will be an interesting end to what has been a strange season on many levels.

And another thing…

Are the Reds set for a new look in season 2020/21?

They have been running a competition on their social media platforms allowing fans to select their favourite re-designed club crest.

Designs were submitted by the public, with United choosing 32 of the best to be involved in the “knock-out tournament”.

And while United have repeatedly said the current crest isn’t set to be replaced, some of the designs have been very good.

So it will be interesting to see if they decide to adopt the one that is eventually chosen as the fans’ favourite.

But that might not be the only change to the Reds’ look for next season.

Members have been given the opportunity to snap up some amazing bargains from the club store.

The fire sale has led many to believe the club has confirmed to current supplier Macron that they won’t be extending their current deal.

As has been speculated, Adelaide was interested in partnering with Chinese manufacturer UCAN Sports, who also supply Qingdao Red Lions.

InDaily understands that Adelaide has indeed chosen UCAN. But, there is a major complication: UCAN is not an FFA approved supplier.

Nothing is ever easy.

Spiro Karanikos-Mimis is InDaily’s soccer columnist.

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