In an unexpected move, United have replaced assistant coach Luciano Trani with former player Michael Valkanis, reportedly relegating the former to a role with the NYL teamAdelaide United assistant coach Luciano Trani is expected to be demoted in favour of Michael Valkanis to be coach John Kosmina's right-hand man.
In a bizarre situation that is yet to completely unfold, Trani was informed in a joint-decision by Kosmina and the Adelaide board during the off-season break he would share assistant responsibilities with youth team coach Valkanis.
What has been described by Kosmina as a "promotion" for Valkanis, who has been in charge of the Reds NYL side since 2010, is considered a demotion for Trani, given his hands-on role during Adelaide's AFC Champions League campaign.
Trani guided the Reds through Asia while Kosmina awaited his FIFA required 'A' coaching license in order to officially coach the side in the prestigious competition.
Details still remain hazy at this point, but it seems Trani and Valkanis have switched positions, with the former expected to spend less time with the first-team while he oversees the club's youth, according to Kosmina.
Valkanis, a former defender and club captain, made over 100 appearances for the club in a five-season stint at United across the National Soccer League and A-League competitions.
"Micky will take ACL because he has his A-licence now and hopefully Luc will do the research, scouting and video analysis job that we want because he's so damn good at it," Kosmina said.
"At the moment we are looking at Luc to cover the youth team as well. The dynamics have changed but the role Luc has had in the past hasn't changed."
Kosmina said the change was made in the "best interests" of the club but had not spoken to Trani since last Friday.
Trani was not at the team's first pre-season training session on Monday and was instead meeting with club chief executive officer Glen Elliott to discuss the terms of his altered role.
"We looked at where the resources we have available were best served in the best interests of the club and that's the conclusion we came to," Kosmina said.
"It was something that only got discussed during the break because before we had other things on our mind and there was the ACL that we needed to sort out and stay on top of.
"I haven't spoken to Luc since Friday but Glen was meeting with him Monday morning. Where that's at, I don't know."
With former Reds manager Rini Coolen currently battling the club in court, seeking damages over his removal as head coach, Kosmina said he was unsure whether Trani could take similar action if unhappy with his demotion.
"I don't know [if it will end up in court] because I don't know what's in the contract," Kosmina said. "I'm not an administrator, I'm a coach. I stay out of it and let the administration sort that stuff out."
United vice-captain Cassio confirmed the players were left in the dark regarding the decision and had only been informed upon reporting to training on Monday.
"We only knew just this morning before training... we couldn't do much," Cassio said. "But it's the administration's choice to change coaching staff. Our job is just to come here to train, play and do our best for the club."
"Micky and Luc are both very professional with their job and I enjoy the coaching style of them and Kossie as well."