Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has lauded teenage talent Nestory Irankunda after his starring performance in the Reds’ 4-1 A-League Men win over Western United.

Irankunda broke the deadlock on 19 minutes before scoring twice in the first two minutes of the second half to complete his hat-trick, becoming the youngest male player in the A-League era to hit a treble.

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

“I’m glad for him to get the reward for the work that he’s been doing over the last couple of months,” he said.

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

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

“I’m happy for him and I think it just shows to him as well that if he keeps working and keeps his head in the right place he’ll put these performances in.”

Despite the up-and-down form, Irankunda has still managed to add plenty of highlights to his ever-growing reel, notching six goals and four assists this season.

Veart admitted patchy performances were to be expected from such a young player.

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

“He has big expectations of himself. He’s still a kid, so it’s important for him still to enjoy his football and relax and make mistakes and learn.”

Western coach John Aloisi echoed the sentiments of his opposite number, admitting his side had little answer for the Germany-bound teenager.

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

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

“We couldn’t stop him. When he’s playing like that, it’s hard to stop … 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’s got so much power, he’s got ability and he was good. He was very good tonight. He killed us.”

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

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