Home Australia ‘There’s a lot of expectation on him’: Teen A-League sensation shakes off ‘challenging’ year with record-breaking hat-trick

‘There’s a lot of expectation on him’: Teen A-League sensation shakes off ‘challenging’ year with record-breaking hat-trick

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'There's a lot of expectation on him': Teen A-League sensation shakes off 'challenging' year with record-breaking hat-trick

Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has praised teenage talent Nestory Irankunda after his stellar performance in the Reds’ 4-1 Men’s A-League victory over Western United.

Irankunda broke the deadlock in the 19th minute before scoring two goals in the first two minutes of the second half to complete his hat-trick, becoming the youngest men’s player in the A-League era to achieve a hat-trick.

Veart said he was delighted for the 18-year-old, who has struggled for consistency this season after a high-profile move to European giants Bayern Munich last year.

“I’m glad he’s been rewarded for the work he’s been doing over the past few months,” she said.

“It’s been a challenging year for him. There are a lot of expectations from the media and fans placed on him.

“I think we’re starting to see maturity and tonight his performance was very good and I think he’s been good the last three or four weeks.

“I’m happy for him and I think this also shows him that if he keeps working and keeps his head in the right place, he will achieve these performances.”

Despite the ups and downs, Irankunda has still managed to add many highlights to his ever-growing list, scoring six goals and four assists this season.

Veart admitted that inconsistent performances were expected from such a young player.

“It’s hard for young players to find that consistency, they’re still figuring out what works for them,” he said.

“He has high expectations of himself. He is still a child, so it is important for him to continue enjoying football, relax, make mistakes and learn.”

West coach John Aloisi echoed his counterpart’s sentiments and admitted his team had little answer for the Germany-bound teenager.

“He’s one of the most talented I’ve seen in Australia, without a doubt,” he said.

“Tonight, he made the difference; when you think about it, I don’t really remember them having clear chances. He caught us.

“We couldn’t stop him. When he plays like that, it’s hard to stop him… even the (first) goal he scores, it’s from an angle and a half. Really, when you think about it, you think ‘oh’, we’re comfortable here.

“He has a lot of power, he has skill and he was good. He was very good tonight. He killed us.”

The visitors pulled one back in the 50th minute through Michael Ruhs before Zach Clough iced Adelaide’s victory from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining.

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