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‘Resilient Ryan ready to lead’: Veart

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Adelaide United Head Coach, Carl Veart firmly believes his newly-appointed captain, Ryan Kitto has long shown all the makings of a successful skipper.

Once maligned and someone who has had to do it the hard way even earning regular minutes, Kitto is a local success story that every young South Australian footballer can aspire to.

A United youth product, Kitto was overlooked for a contract in 2015 and instead played for his beloved West Torrens Birkalla in the RAA NPL SA, dominating in the yellow and black.

He was subsequently signed by Newcastle Jets for a season, before returning to Adelaide ahead of 2016/17, and still he was in and out of the team until earning his regular position in that left wing-back position two years ago.

Nowadays, Kitto is one of the first named on the team sheet, which is testament to his perseverance as the true professional ready to lead the Club he supported as a boy.

Kitto’s path has not gone unnoticed by Carl Veart and his coaching staff, and it was duly considered when it came time to select a new captain.

“It was a fairly easy decision in the end (to appoint Kitto captain),” Veart admitted.

“Ryan has shown, since I’ve taken over, a great resilience and leadership on and off the pitch and especially with the younger players coming through, he spends a lot of time helping them.

“I think his performances on the field especially over the last 18 months have been exceptional, and one of the main things I pointed out to him is that it’s important for him to stay true to himself and keep leading and playing in this same way.”

The departure of former captain, Craig Goodwin has been well-documented, and ironically Kitto, a fellow South Australian who once lined up right behind him on the left wing, clearly emerged as the perfect replacement for the arm band.

The 29-year-old is looking forward to stepping into those shoes.

“I’m very humbled and more so proud to represent this group pf players because they’re a group of players that mean a lot to me, and I’m very excited for what this season has to hold,” Kitto beamed.

“I had a good relationship with Craig, and I think we lead in a similar way, and with his departure I’ve already seen a lot of younger players stepping up and it’s exciting.

“I don’t think I’ve changed anything over the last couple of years, I think it comes down to Carl and the confidence he’s given me to fulfill my potential.

“It’s very special to me, I was here from day dot when Carl scored against Brisbane Strikers in 2003, and now to be here right now, I don’t take any of this for granted and appreciate it every day.”

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