Nick Carle will turn his attention to youth coaching after prolonged injury finally brought the curtain down on a stellar 18-year career.
The former Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets great expressed a mixture of relief and despair after he was forced to “call it quits” following an 18-month battle to return from a ruptured ACL.
But the 33-year-old will retain his links with the Sky Blues, scouting for Sydney FC’s academy and coaching youngsters in the Southern Districts.
Carle earned 13 caps for the Socceroos and his his straps in the 2006/07 A-League season when he was named Johnny Warren medallist and scored the goal of the season.
Often described as an unfulfilled talent, he began his senior career with Sydney Olympic and later played for Troyes AC Marconi Stallions, Gençlerbirliği SK, Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Baniyas.
“I’m devastated at having to call it quits because I love football - I would have played until I was 50 if I was good enough,” Carle told the Daily Telegraph.
“I’ve always been passionate about the game and that passion has never dipped - I love training, I love playing. But you know, I’m also very grateful to the game for giving me a job doing something I love and some unreal experiences.
“Pulling on the national team jersey was the pinnacle - I was lucky enough to play at every level, from U17s through to the senior side, and there’s no bigger moment in your life.”
But Carle, who suffered the devastation of a last minute scratching from the 2010 World Cup, insisted he had no regrets in a varied and turbulent career.
— The PFA (@thepfa) July 29, 2016
“All along I’ve had massive highs and massive disappointments - maybe at times I didn’t always make the right choices, but I have no regrets at all about any of it,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“It’s part of being a professional athlete, that you get those highs and lows.”
Carle said he had coached kids in recent years for the “love of it, just like I played football for the love of it.”