'He really loved Adelaide' - Verbeek still involved despite Reds departure


Adelaide United football director Bruce Djite says Gertjan Verbeek still contributes to the club despite his decision to quit last month.

Verbeek cut ties with the Reds 11 months into his tenure after uncertainty left he, his staff and squad stood down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

United had won the FFA Cup under the Dutchman's guidance and were chasing finals football before the A-League season came to a halt with five rounds remaining.

Despite his difficult departure, Djite revealed the 57-year-old remains involved in club meetings, as the players prepare for a potential restart under assistant coach Carl Veart.

"The relationship is still good, I still speak to him quite regularly," Djite told The World Game's Lucy Zelic.

"We have coach's calls every week with all the coaches and support staff and he’s still been on those.

“He really enjoyed working with them, he really loved Adelaide and Australia, so he was very disappointed about it but, with the circumstances we’re in at the moment, he felt it (leaving) was the right call.”

Djite has since assured Adelaide fans their next coach will be of Australian heritage and though Verbeek's presence still lingers at the club, a return is not on the cards.

"First of all, he felt it was important for him to return to Holland," Djite said. "With a young family, it was important for him to go back.

“And then with the continued uncertainty for such a long period of time, compounded by the stand-downs without pay, compounded by the fact that the club would be financially wounded going forward…

"I know Gertjan and (chairman) Piet van der Pol had a lot of discussions prior to Gertjan going back to Holland.

"But with the coronavirus, uncertainty, future financial difficulties, being stood down without pay - that’s something that he really struggled to wrap his head around… there were just too many unknowns.

"It wasn’t any particular thing… he just felt, let’s just stop now."