Striker hopes to make Sydney permanent home
Mobile … new Sydney signing Jarrod Kyle hopes his short spell could turn into something more permanent. Photo: Anthony Johnson
HE'S big, he's tall, and Sydney FC coach Frank Farina reckons 19-year-old Jarrod Kyle might be the secret weapon to unleash on unsuspecting rivals in the race to the finals.
The burly striker has been on trial for the Sky Blues in recent weeks after being released by Sheffield Wednesday last month and impressed enough to win a deal for the rest of the season.
Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Kyle had an impressive time at the Owls academy - winning their player-of-the-year award last season - but asked to be released so he could chase a deal in the A-League.
The Sky Blues waited until the final hours of the transfer window on Monday before adding Kyle to their list. Jason Culina was released on the same day after falling out with Frank Farina but the coach insists he would have signed Kyle regardless.
''We had some information that he was coming back from England and we had a look at him and liked what I saw,'' Farina said after training at Macquarie University on Wednesday. ''He's a young kid, an Aussie, well over six foot. It's worth having a look until the end of the season and we'll go from there.''
However, Farina said Kyle wouldn't be ready to face Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. ''He's most probably a little bit underdone at this stage,'' he said. ''That's up to him [when he gets an opportunity], how he goes fitness-wise and in the games at training.''
Farina described his new acquisition as ''arguably an old-fashioned centre-forward''. ''He's very strong, he's quite mobile and you don't often see strikers come along at that age of that size and pace,'' the coach said.
Farina refused to be drawn on his split with former Socceroo Culina. ''That's a closed chapter and everyone's said what needs to be said,'' Farina said. ''We've moved on and I'm sure Jason has as well.''
Kyle said he was hoping to impress when given a chance and that his short spell could turn into something more permanent. ''I've been overseas for 2½ years, so to have the opportunity to come back is brilliant,'' he said.
''There was one or two [other A-League clubs interested] but this club appealed to me the most. They've won the A-League twice and they're a massive club. I'm just so enthusiastic to start, so once I get on the pitch and get my opportunity to play, I'll make it count.''
The forward believes his stint with the Championship side has made him all the more ready to impress at A-League level.
''The amount of experience I picked up while I was over there was invaluable,'' Kyle said.
The visit of Adelaide gives Sydney a chance to avenge their two defeats at the hands of the Reds earlier in the season. With the Sky Blues in the top six for the first time since the opening month, confidence is high at Moore Park.
But with Alessandro Del Piero in blistering form, and competition for places heating up, the fans expect the team to keep improving. ''Every game for the club, at the moment, is huge,'' Farina said. ''It's like playing finals football 12 weeks early.''
Adelaide halted their slide last week with a barnstorming win over Melbourne Victory, galvanising the team behind new coach Michael Valkanis - even though he'll be watching this game from the stands after being sent off.
''They were really up for that game and have been most probably inconsistent due to what's happening around the club,'' Farina said. ''But they're worthy of being where they are. They're mobile, have got some dangerous players up front and they're a compact team. They've beaten us twice this year, so they're a difficult opponent for us.''