There has been a lot of speculation concerning the Newcastle (north of Sydney) Jets midfielder Nick Carle who arrived in Turkey this week to sign for God only knows who.
First up reports said he was going to Fenerbahce, then Galatasaray and then Trabzonspor. But then today I saw news that he is in Ankara today and has come to an agreement to sign for Genclerbirligi.
Great news. the Australian League may not be up there with the very best but it has some good players and everyone has to start somewhere. We at Gencler all remember how well Josip Skoko played for us.
During all the controversy over who he was going to sign for I googled Mr. Carle and in addition to seeing that he was voted the players' player of the year award for the last season I also saw that he went to Patrician Brothers College, Fairfield in Sydney.
That was what blew me away because I went to Patrician Brothers Holy Cross College. Our schools were huge rivals, I still remember Benny Elias kicking a conversion from the side-line in our 1981 Commonwealth Bank Cup final victory over Fairfield back in. I also remember the next year when Greg Alexander put us to the sword. Both players went on play for Australia.
While we were rivals we were also "brother" schools thanks to the Patrician Brothers connection. So it looks like the number Patrician Brothers educated boys in Ankara has just doubled.
For you Turks reading this these schools are sort of like Imam Hatip schools which produce many more great rugby league or football players than they do priests.
EDIT: He signed this afternoon. A three-year deal. Good news indeed. The following is what a fellow called Tommo put on Natahn's blog when the rumour was that he was going to Fener.
Though he's never really been tested outside the confines of Australian domestic football, I think you'll find that, if you do sign Carle, you won't be disappointed. An extremely entertaining, intelligent footballer - capable of controlling the game from midfield, scoring goals, as well as pulling off any number of crowd-pleasing dribbles and party tricks. Classic Number 10 stuff. A little selfish at times, sure, but it comes with the territory I guess. Anyway, most Australians think he has a big future with our national team, so if he does sign for Fenerbache, hopefully it will only mean good things for both parties.
EDIT 2: You can see the reaction from the Newcastle Jets in this Australian associated press article.
And by the way, hello to all the Australians who seem to be checking out the blog at the moment. If any of you have anything you would like to tell us about Carle, ie. is he any good, please do so in the comments section.
EDIT 3: The Aussie fourfourtwo magazine has an interview with Carle where he admits he cannot pronounce Genclerbirligi