Veart handed Adelaide United coaching job on two-year deal

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A-League club Adelaide United handed caretaker coach Carl Veart the job on a permanent basis on Friday as a reward for his work with the team at the end of last season.

Veart, a former striker at the club, took over when Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek returned home at the start of the new coronavirus outbreak and never returned.

The club went unbeaten over the remaining five matches of the regular season playing attractive attacking football and missed out on the playoffs by a single point.

“This is a wonderful feeling for me, knowing that I’ve been given the honour of coaching this football club,” Veart said in a news release after signing a two-year contract.

“As I’ve said on many occasions, Adelaide United holds a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to get started.”

Veart played more than 130 matches for English clubs Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Millwall before returning to Australia and scoring the first goal in the inaugural A-League season to give United a 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets.

The 50-year-old former Socceroo is the first Australian manager of the club in seven years following Spaniards Josep Gombau and Guillermo Amor, German Marco Kurz and Verbeek.

“Carl is undoubtedly the best person to lead our squad moving forward and what he and the team showed while in the hub only validated that,” United’s director of football Bruce Djite said.

“The players also have the utmost respect for him, which is vital, and we wish Carl all the best for the upcoming season.”

The new A-League season will begin on an as yet unspecified date in December.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford