Cardozo knocking on A-League's door

Richie Cardozo has been unlucky time and time again, but the talented attacker still holds hope of earning a shot at the top level.

Richie Cardozo has been unlucky time and time again, but the talented attacker still holds hope of earning a shot at the top level.

Cardozo, 27, has often looked set for a Hyundai A-League deal and with eight goals in nine NSW Premier League games for Rockdale City Suns this season, one could be close.

At 17, he made his debut in the National Soccer League for Sydney Olympic, a club at which his brother and former Socceroo Pablo impressed.

The collapse of the NSL led to Cardozo moving on, spending time at several clubs including going to New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria.

Trials at Gold Coast United and Newcastle Jets came to nothing, but he would have been in Jets colours in 2011/12 if not for the Hunter club's decision to sack Branko Culina days out from the start of the season.

At LASK Linz in Austria, Cardozo was enjoying a good season in the second tier, but the club, which fought for promotion, were instead relegated due to financial troubles.

Now back in NSW, the left-footer still wants the opportunity to prove himself in the A-League.

"Everyone's got a different opinion ... as to what you need to have to get into the A-League or become a better player," Cardozo said.

"What I believe I need to probably do is keep working hard and once I get the opportunity, probably prove it then.

"It's hard to say because on a personal level, my role on the field or my position in a game is to score and create goals and I think I've been doing that.

"You can always work harder and you can always work on the defensive part of your game and tactical stuff as well. It's probably the toughest question to answer. It's a matter of opinion."

Cardozo's season in the Victorian Premier League in 2011 was among his most impressive, scoring 19 goals for Hume City to claim the Media Player of the Year Award.

He was frustrated nothing came of it and entered his trial at the Jets out of shape, but Culina was ready to sign him before being sacked three days prior to the start of the season.

After close to two months trialling at Newcastle, Cardozo was told by coach Gary van Egmond the Jets would be looking elsewhere.

Van Egmond and Miron Bleiberg -ahead of Gold Coast's first season in the league - opted against signing Cardozo, who said he would keep performing to try and win a deal.

"I don't know how to look at it to be honest. It is frustrating because I genuinely believe everything that's been said about me, I've answered back in footballing terms," he said.

"I haven't really ever got an answer from the horse's mouth as to why I'm not getting an opportunity ... all I can do is keep playing and performing and the door opens."

His work rate and consistency have been questioned in the past, but Cardozo believes he has improved in both areas.

The offers have continued to come for Cardozo, yet he opted to join Culina at the Suns despite interest from abroad.

Now played anywhere across the front line instead of solely as a no.10, Culina said Cardozo was a player 'a number of A-League clubs should be looking at'.

"He certainly showed enough at Newcastle - to me, anyway - that he was worth looking at and giving an opportunity, but everyone's different," he said.

"I always look to give players an opportunity if I believe they've got something to offer and I was willing to do that with Richard."

Cardozo must become a more 'complete player', according to Culina, to lessen the chance of being rejected by the A-League again.

And perhaps more bad luck is the only thing that can stop the man who says he is a 'perfectionist' determined to improve. Image courtesy Rockdale City Suns