Sarkies Looking To The Future

Had circumstances played out differently, Kristian Sarkies would likely be a World Cup Socceroo.

Had circumstances played out differently, Kristian Sarkies would likely be a World Cup Socceroo.

In 2006, the then 19-year-old was on the verge of completing one of the most unlikely rises in Australian football history after Guus Hiddink lobbied for the Victorian to replace a more experienced counterpart in the Green and Gold-s 23-man World Cup squad.

Initially called upon as a member of the Socceroos train-on squad, Sarkies impressed sufficiently during Hiddink-s pre-tournament camp to earn his first international cap in a 3-1 friendly triumph over Lichtenstein.

A place on the bench against Japan in the Socceroos- opening World Cup fixture then loomed as next on the agenda, with Hiddink becoming enamoured by the precocious talent which had many earmarking the midfielder as a star of the future.

While Hiddink-s plans were ultimately scuppered, Sarkies- future course was seemingly set, his path destined for Europe.

Unfortunately, fate had other intentions.

After featuring for the Australia at the 2008 Olympic Games and playing a pivotal role in Adelaide United-s run to the AFC Champions League and subsequent FIFA Club World Cup participation, Sarkies suffered the first of a series of serious injuries which altered his career trajectory.

A bout of deep-vein thrombosis followed by a broken leg conspired to rob Sarkies of any opportunity to secure an extended run of first team action, with the lingering effects of his ails travelling with him back to Melbourne, and the Heart.

While his debut season in Red and White was compromised, Sarkies has finally begun to demonstrate the undoubted promise suggested by his early career feats.

And finally free of the injuries which have punctuated his time in football to date, Sarkies is eager to look towards the future.

"I feel very good at the moment, injury-free. It's better to be playing than not playing," Sarkies said.

"You have your highs and lows, but I guess you've just got to enjoy the highs when you do get them.

"And when you get your lows, you've got to think back to your highs to give you the confidence and inspiration."

Sitting fifth on the Hyundai A-League table, Heart-s January woes have seen the Club fall back to the back, eroding the significant ground made by its stunning run through November and December.

While Heart-s primary objective now is to simply make the playoffs, Sarkies believes the side is poised to strike back and relaunch its bid for a home final.

"We'd like to do more than (just make the finals). We've got the players, we've got the players to come back into the team as well," he said.

"But first we've got to consolidate with a few wins to get us into that finals position permanently."