Adelaide coach Veart slams Irankunda Olyroos theories

Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has added more fuel to the controversy surrounding Nestory Irankunda’s omission from Australia's U23 Asian Cup squad, insisting the teenage sensation had never spoken with anyone from Football Australia.

Irankunda, 18, was not selected by Olyroos coach Tony Vidmar for the Asian Cup in Qatar, which doubles as Olympic qualifiers.

It was then reported Irankunda had been informally sounded out at the 11th hour as an injury replacement for Melbourne City’s Marco Tilio.

"No, he didn’t speak at all to anyone from the FA. There was no contact whatsoever from the FA to Nestor, so I don’t know where it’s coming from," insisted Veart after Adelaide's 2-1 defeat by Macarthur FC.

"I had a conversation with Tony Vidmar before the squad was announced, I had a conversation after the squad was announced and I had a conversation with him this week.

"At no time did they select him."

Rival A-League Men clubs had privately pushed for Irankunda to be stood down for the duration of the Asian Cup, unimpressed that the teenager reportedly rebuffed the last-minute approach, giving the perception he had dictated his availability.

Carl Veart.
Adelaide United coach Carl Veart looks on, unimpressed during an ALM clash.

It’s this theory that's angered Veart, with FA confirming Irankunda was free to play having never "officially" been called up.

"I suppose it’s disappointing that two clubs wanted to try and stop a young player from playing football - it says more about those two clubs than it does about Nestor," Veart said.

"Look, I think it’s fairly easy (to work out who the clubs were). We’ve had four games left and two of them we’re playing, well we’ve got one more to play I think.

"It’s disappointing. You’ve got to get the full story and they’ve jumped without knowing all the information, haven’t they."

On Saturday, Central Coast coach Mark Jackson confirmed the Mariners - who play the Reds next Sunday - had "asked the question" of FA regarding Irankunda via chairman Richard Peil.

"I was aware that Rich Peil, our chairman, asked the question to Football Australia," Jackson said.

"Because we obviously lost two players (Alou Kuol and Jacob Farrell) there and we were under the impression that if players got asked to go, then they had to go and if they didn't want to go then they wouldn't be able to play (in the ALM). 

"So I think Rich Peil asked the question and it had nothing to do with me, (sporting director) Matt Simon, or the football department. To be honest, we're too busy preparing for games to even look at that.

"But quite rightly, rightly so, I think he asked the question, he got the answer he wanted back and that's it."

Irankunda was at the centre of everything in Friday night's match at Cooper's Stadium, his final home match before leaving for Bayern Munich at season’s end.

The speedster broke the deadlock with a stunning strike on 20 minutes before the 10-men Bulls snatched victory with goals in the 84th and 88th minutes.

Irankunda had a penalty deep into added time saved by Filip Kurto.

Veart admitted it had been a challenging season for Adelaide in trying to manage the various complex situations that have arisen due to the teenager’s supreme talent, ever-growing highlights reel and often over-zealous attention.

"I think it’s going to be better for him to leave the country and go play over there because here we just don’t know how to look after the young players," he said.

"It’s disappointing, the amount of talk about him."

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