Where are they now? Adelaide United’s first A-Leagues XI inc. politician & head coach in Europe

As Adelaide United celebrates its 20th birthday, KEEPUP revisits the Reds’ first ever A-Leagues starting XI and looks at where they are now.

It all started on a night in the Hunter.

Adelaide United were the first team to win a game in the history of the A-Leagues, when they defeated Newcastle Jets 1-0 at the then Energy Australia Stadium on August 26 2005.

Now Reds coach Carl Veart, scored the solitary goal and the first of 709 and counting Adelaide United goals that have followed in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

The club will celebrate its 20 year anniversary this year, and are commemorating the occasion by releasing a documentary – which details its entire existence from the later years of the NSL, through to the present day.

KEEPUP looks at each of the 11 players who started their inaugural A-Leagues match and where they are now.

Goalkeeper – Daniel Beltrame

Beltrame made 30 appearances for Adelaide United between 2005-07.

He was their starting goalkeeper en route to a maiden Grand Final appearance against Melbourne Victory in 2007, where he famously made two penalty saves against Newcastle Jets to book their place in the decider, which ended in a 6-0 defeat to the Reds.

After retirement, Beltrame became the goalkeeper coach of now defunct A-Leagues franchise North Queensland Fury.

Right-back – Richie Alagich

After a legendary career for a host of teams, Alagich joined Adelaide United in the final years of the NSL in 2003, before signing on to be part of their inaugural A-Leagues side.

Alagich became a key part of their squad for the first three seasons in the competition, making 64 appearances in the league and also helped the Reds make the quarter finals of the Asian Champions League in 2008 before his retirement.

He became assistant coach of the Reds’ A-League Women side during the 2009 season, where they finished second-last without a win.

Richie is one of many Alagichs to make their mark on the game locally as well. His great-uncle Marin, used the game to help unite fractured communities in New South Wales following his migration from Former Yugoslavia, while his father Colin Snr officiated and played over 300 matches in South Australia.

His sister Dianne made 86 appearances for the Matildas, while his son Ethan has just started to make his mark on the Reds senior team following his debut last season.

Centre-back – Kristian Rees

Rees went on to having a lengthy career in the A-Leagues, making 117 appearances between stints at Adelaide, Wellington Phoenix and Gold Coast United over a seven year spell.

After retirement, the towering defender went into a career in politics, joining the United Australia Party, founded by former Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer. Rees is now working as a finance broker.

Centre-back – Michael Valkanis

Reds legend Valkanis was one of the players who made the transition from the NSL to the A-Leagues, having initially joined the club in 2003, following a lengthy career in Australia and Greece.

The defender went on to make 56 A-Leagues appearances for the club and spent time as club captain before his retirement in 2009. Valkanis has since gone into coaching, starting as an assistant coach for Adelaide before joining Melbourne City – where he also had his first head coaching role following the departure of John Van’t Schip.

At the end of the 2016-17 season, Valkanis followed Van’t Schip to the Netherlands, serving as his assistant at PEC Zwolle and then the Greece national team.

He returned to head coaching with Belgian side Eupen before joining Israeli powerhouses Hapoel Tel Aviv this year.

Left-back – Adam Van Dommele

Van Dommele spent two seasons with Adelaide, making 24 appearances for the club before joining South Melbourne in the Victorian Premier League in 2007. He then joined local side MetroStars, where he played for eight years and served as captain.

The defender now serves as Metro’s assistant coach, helping lead them to the NPL South Australia premiership this year.

Right-midfielder – Louis Brain

Brain spent one season at Adelaide, scoring three goals in 17 appearances for the Reds.

However, one of his three goals have gone down in competition history as still, the quickest ever goal in Isuzu UTE A-League history – firing home after 11 seconds against Melbourne Victory in September 2005.

The midfielder went on to play out his career in both South Australia and Victoria’s state leagues until 2012 and has since retired from the game.

Central-midfielder – Angelo Costanzo

Costanzo was a key part of Adelaide’s strong start to life in the A-Leagues. The no-nonsense defender made over 70 appearances for the Reds, before joining Newcastle Jets in 2009 for a single season.

After retirement, Costanzo became the Reds’ Youth coach for five years between 2010-15, before serving as head coach of NPL South Australia outfit Croydon FC from 2018 until 2020 – where he was replaced by former teammate Travis Dodd.

His son Domenic also spent a short time at Adelaide in the 2020-21 season.

Central-midfielder – Ross Aloisi

Aloisi finished his playing days in the A-Leagues with Adelaide and Wellington Phoenix.

The midfielder was named the club’s inaugural A-Leagues captain and served as skipper until the end of the 2006-07 season, where he was sent off in his final game for the Reds in the 2007 Grand Final.

He went on to play one season for the ‘Nix in their first campaign in the league – where he also served as captain – before retiring in 2008.

Aloisi has since gone into coaching and was recently appointed head coach of Brisbane Roar’s Isuzu UTE A-League outfit.

He has also had coaching spells at other clubs – including as head coach of Adelaide United’s Liberty A-League outfit and assistant at Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

Left-midfielder – Lucas Pantelis

Pantelis was one of the club’s first signings ahead of their introduction to the A-Leagues, joining the Reds after spells at Adelaide City, Parramatta Power and White City.

The talented midfielder spent six seasons at the club, making over 100 appearances for the Reds, including a brilliant 2007-08 campaign. However, his time at Adelaide was marred by serious knee injuries. Pantelis missed the entirety of the 2006-07 season, before hurting the same knee a couple years later.

Following his departure in 2011, Pantelis joined Wellington Phoenix but suffered a full ACL rapture along with cartilage and meniscus tears during a pre-season match.

He departed in 2013 and soon after, joined the PFA – where he worked as an induction manager and Player Development Manager. He is now Head of Project Delivery at solar panel manufacturer SOLARLAB.

Forward – Carl Veart

Carl Veart joined Adelaide United for their inaugural season in the NSL and made history as the club’s first ever goal scorer.

Veart became not only the first player to find the back of the net in a Reds jersey in a 1-0 win over Brisbane Strikers in 2003, but the first to score in A-Leagues history as well – firing home the solitary goal in their victory over the Jets.

He went on to spend two full A-Leagues seasons at Adelaide before departing following their 2007 Grand Final defeat to Melbourne Victory.

Veart is now the head coach of Adelaide’s senior men’s side, taking over from Gertjan Verbeek in 2020. He is the reigning Isuzu UTE A-League Coach of the Year following a semi final finish last season.

Forward – Travis Dodd

Dodd is fondly remembered as one of the club’s all-time great players.

He made 137 A-Leagues appearances, adding 30 goals during a memorable six-year spell. The attacker became the club’s captain following Ross Aloisi’s departure in 2008 and served as skipper until joining Perth Glory in 2011.

Dodd finished his A-Leagues career at Glory, before announcing his retirement from the game in 2017 following a short spell with MetroStars in South Australia’s NPL.

Dodd is now head coach of NPL South Australia side Croydon FC and works as a finance broker for BFD Finance.

Coach – John Kosmina

Kosmina served as Adelaide’s inaugural head coach, joining the club in 2003.

The Australian football legend led the Reds to the first ever Isuzu UTE A-League Premiership in the 2005-06 season, before falling short of the Championship the following year in their Grand Final defeat to Victory.

Kosmina departed at the end of the 2006-07 season and returned in 2011 as a caretaker coach, before returning on a full-time basis until January 2013.

He went on to coach semi-professional Queensland outfits Brisbane City and most recently, Brisbane Strikers, before his departure in 2021.

The former Socceroos captain still coaches at high school level with St Joseph’s College in Brisbane.