David Carney described his first day back at Sydney FC as like “playing with the Socceroos again” going on to describe the Jets squad as inferior to the Sky Blues.
The 32-year-old winger signed with the Sky Blues and completed his first training session on Wednesday less than 24 hours after gaining a release from the final few months of his Jets contract.
It brings to an end a drawn-out saga over his future, with Carney admitting he’s had his heart on returning to the Sky Blues – his first Hyundai A-League club – for some time.
Carney felt his football was going flat in the Hunter and believes reuniting with coach Graham Arnold, who he worked with at the Socceroos, can reinvigorate his career.
“I’ve worked with Arnie before and he wants me to play on the wing. He likes his wingers coming in and getting in the pockets.
"That’s what I did today and it was good,” Carney told reporters at Sky Blues HQ.
“It was just a great feeling to be out there today amongst the team, just the way training was it reminded me of being back playing with the Socceroos again.
“I feel compared to Newcastle, it’s two very different sides. It suits me better, I like to keep the ball and being at Sydney I’m sure it will help me get to that next level.
“With Newcastle, the quality of players compared to here, you can get flat and here it gives me that next step to play with better players and strive to be amongst them and start to enjoy my football again,” he added.
Carney has signed a deal until the end of the 2016/17 season and could come straight into the side for Friday night’s clash with the Reds in Adelaide.
He says coming to Sydney, who will juggle their A-League title aspirations with the Asian Champions League, gives him one last chance to end his career on a big high.
It’s something he felt he wouldn’t get at the Jets which is why he did everything he could to make the switch.
“I gave everything for the Jets. I played a part in most of the goals they scored so I feel like I’ve done my part for Newcastle,” Carney said.
“For me to go on to Sydney…at the end of it I don’t think Newcastle would be too harsh to stand in my way, they knew there was a better opportunity for myself.
“I didn’t have any bad blood with Scott Miller at the end of it.
“[Sydney FC] is where it all started for me, winning the league that first year. I have great memories with Sydney and the supporters…I’m definitely looking forward to coming home,” he added.
Now he’s back in the Sky Blue, Carney has his eyes on a second A-League title with the club, confident they have the quality to fight for glory on two fronts.
“With the squad out there, there’s quality all over the park and they can definitely challenge for the title. With the ACL coming up, the depth we’ve got it’s a good balance to go into both [competitions] now,” the 48-cap Socceroo said.
“To get in that environment again, the winning feeling and the ambition to go forward with the club, probably the biggest club in Australia, I want to be a part of that.
“I’ve played in [the ACL] before with Sydney, they are great games and with the squad we’ve got I feel like we can compete in that league.”