Local soccer legend leads United

ON THE BALL: Carl Veart played for English Premier League team Crystal Palace during his time in England.
ON THE BALL: Carl Veart played for English Premier League team Crystal Palace during his time in England.

There isn't much Whyalla sporting legend Carl Veart hasn't done in his 18 year professional soccer career.

He's graced the stadium's of Australia and England, been to the Olympic Games and won 23 Socceroo caps including a World Cup campaign that saw him share the field with the great Diego Maradona.

But this could be his toughest test yet.

Veart has been named Interim coach of A-league club Adelaide United, taking over from Gertjan Verbeek, who mutually parted ways with the club in April.

He now has five games to try and steer the South Australian club to the finals.

Verat, who played for Croatia in Whyalla and Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Millwall in England, said he had always aspired to coaching a senior professional side since retiring from soccer 13 years ago.

"As a player I wanted to play at the highest level and I achieved that so when I went into coaching I wanted the same," he said.

Carl has had coaching experience at youth level and has also been involved in the young Socceroos set up so a step up to senior level will be a challenge but he believes he can make his mark.

"I believe in giving the kids an opportunity and help develop them as players just as I had coming through the ranks in my career," he said.

"We only have a short time to get ready but we are working on the way I would like us to play going forward and defending."

Carl, who recently turned 50, said that he's learnt a lot from his coaches over his playing career but pointed out the great Zoran Matic as the one he admired most from his early Adelaide City days .

The Whyalla icon seems to already have admirers of his own with midfielder Stephan Mauk recently saying that Veart has brought the fun back into training and the communication between players and coach has been excellent .

Veart has come along way from a skinny kid that played on the soccer parks of Whyalla and I'm sure everyone will be cheering him and the team on. We wish him all the best