Carle out to make his mark

Having overcome the disappointment of missing out on being a part of Australia's World Cup campaign, talented midfielder Nicky Carle has vowed to leave his mark on the Hyundai A-League when the competition begins next month.

Having overcome the disappointment of missing out on being a part of Australia's World Cup campaign, talented midfielder Nicky Carle has vowed to leave his mark on the Hyundai A-League when the competition begins next month.

After being selected in Pim Verbeek's preliminary World Cup squad before the tournament, Carle was left devastated when he missed the final cut for the trip to South Africa.

But the 28-year-old has been around long enough to know you can't stay down too long. As one door closes another one opens as they say.

A couple of days after his Cup snub Carle ended his tumultuous time at English club Crystal Palace by announcing his return to the Hyundai A-League with the Sky Blues.

It was an ideal move for Sydney-born Carle whose undoubted talent and ability to excite the fans is tailor-made for arguably the Hyundai A-League's biggest club.

And while his career never quite took off during his time in Europe, Carle has returned home faced with a different challenge.

Not only does Carle have to try and help Sydney become the first club to win back-to-back Hyundai A-League crowns but also step into the role vacated by the club's inspirational skipper Steve Corica who retired at the end of last season.

"I remember when I was only a young kid watching a game at Parramatta Stadium when he (Corica) was playing for Marconi," Carle recalled.

"I always thought he was a brilliant player, even all those years ago."

"He did great in Europe and for the Socceroos and when he came back to the A-League he did exceptionally well."

"He's been an absolute leader for Sydney FC, it's very difficult to fill his boots."

"I'm going to try and do my best to help out as much as I can but what a player."

"I can't speak more highly of him for what he's done for the league and Sydney FC."

Asked how he would handle filling the shoes of one of Sydney's finest ever players, Carle said: "I don't look at it like that because we're two different identities."

"He's done a brilliant for the club but I'm someone new trying to make my own mark."

"I'm obviously going to do as best as I can to fill in for the team as well as I can and push the club forward."

"It's not daunting at all. I'm going to be myself and do what I can to keep the club at the top."

The man Carle is replacing has no doubt Sydney got the right man to step into the vital attacking midfield role which provides the ammunition for strikers Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque.

"I'm very happy with the club in getting him because he's such a great talent," Corica said.

"He's exciting for the fans, he'll be definitely good for the Cove and all the other supporters in Sydney."

"He's exciting to watch and people pay good money to watch players like that."

"Nicky's settled in well to the way the team wants to play and I'm sure he's going to have a good season."

Looking back at his World Cup omission, Carle was philosophical.

"I was devastated I didn't make it but the coach has to pick his side and unfortunately I was one of the boys that missed out," he said.

"I just took a step back and looked at it from a supporter's point of view and I wanted Australia to do well."

"I woke up early and watched all the games and tried to get that out of my head of me not being there."

"I thought the boys did very well, to show the character they did to turn it around after such a disappointing start shows what a great bunch of guys they are."

But right now Carle's focus is all about getting himself right for Sydney FC's mouth-watering season opener against fierce rivals Melbourne Victory at the SFS on August 7.

The former Newcastle Jets midfielder has been battling a hamstring injury but is confident he can get through some game time during the Festival of Football tournament and then be right to go for Round 1.

"I've been working really hard at training now and getting my fitness right," he said.

"I'd loved to play some part in these next three games ... obviously the coaching staff know when to push it and when not to so I'll be going on their guidance."

"But it feels good and I'm really enjoying it and just can't wait to play with the boys out on the pitch."