Carle aiming for South Africa

Former Hyundai A-League Player of the Year Nick Carle wants to be at next year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup finals and will be doing everything to try and win over Qantas Socceroos boss Pim Verbeek.

Former Hyundai A-League Player of the Year Nick Carle wants to be at next year-s 2010 FIFA World Cup finals and will be doing everything to try and win over Qantas Socceroos boss Pim Verbeek.

Carle is back in Australia after finishing his season with Crystal Palace in the English Championship, where he enjoyed a good season, although Palace were disappointing after finishing out of the play-off-s for promotion to the Premier League.

In the meantime, he is keeping fit with Sydney FC just in case he gets the call up to be part of Verbeek-s extended squad for the upcoming final three Asian Qualifiers of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The former Newcastle Jets maestro told that he is keen to show that he is more than capable of playing a role for the Qantas Socceroos and the experience and games he is getting in the Championship with Crystal Palace is helping him as a player.

“That would have to be my biggest goal, getting myself back in the national side and making the World Cup squad; if we qualify,” he quickly added.

“I think that-s any player-s goal or dream. I don-t think there is any greater honour than playing for your national side, especially at a World Cup.”

“It-s up to me to make sure that I am in top form for my club and play as many games as I can.

“This season I was lucky enough to play 40 or 41 games, so I have played a fair bit of football. So it-s up to me that if I do get given a chance throughout this year that I show the coaching staff in the national team that I am more than capable of playing there.”

Carle-s last international was back in 2007 against Nigeria and while many would love to see his silky skills back in the green and gold, Carle himself is philosophical and admits that there are so many good players in his position that forcing his way into the squad is a tough one.

“I-ve always seen it that it-s up to me to prove that I should be there. The biggest thing for me, is the quality and depth of the players they have in my position is amazing and is probably the hardest position to get into,” he admitted.

“You have Timmy Cahill, whose probably one of the best in the world at what he does, making late runs into the box and scoring goals. You-ve also got (Mark) Bresciano who I think is an unbelievable player; you-ve got Harry (Kewell) and several others that are all very handy players in that position.

“For me I think it-s a difficult one, simply because we do have so much quality in that position.

“I do like to think that I could bring something to the team, but again it-s up to me to prove that. Not for one minute am I saying I deserve to be there, but it-s up to me to prove that I deserve to be there.”

The move to England has seen Carle modify his game somewhat to adapt to the more direct and faster play than what he experienced in Australia and Turkey.

“The standard of the Championship is very high; I think I underestimated it a bit before I played there.

“Having so many foreigners in England, it means your second tier is a really, really good standard. Not all the teams, but a lot of the teams are very direct and it-s about scoring goals and getting forward as quick as you can.

“For me, its been having to adapt to whatever they play like, rather than the ball coming out from the back and playing through midfield, it-s getting it forward as quick as you can and supporting off the strikers.

“That-s where I have had to change my game a lot, where in the past I have liked to receive the ball off defenders and try and start the play, to now where I am having to make myself available to the strikers once the ball gets up to them.

“It (English Championship) would have to be the best second tier competition in the world for me, such is the high level.”

Verbeek is likely to name his squad sometime next week, after the final games of the season are completed across many of the leagues in Europe this weekend.

Australia can qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, if it secures the one point it needs against Qatar in Doha on June 6. The Qantas Socceroos will then return to Australia to play its final two games against Bahrain (June 10) in Sydney and Japan (June 17) in Melbourne.

Tickets for both matches can be purchased at Ticketek