It is testament to Melbourne Heart FC’s significant depth that it took 14 weeks for Kristian Sarkies to make his first Hyundai A-League appearance this season.
It is testament to Melbourne Heart FC-s significant depth that it took 14 weeks for Kristian Sarkies to make his first Hyundai A-League appearance this season.
Injury and circumstance have conspired to force Sarkies to the periphery for much of his time in Red and White, but it was under those same conditions that he benefitted to earn a recall to the starting eleven.
And the midfielder reminded everyone of the innate talent and potential which saw former Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink select him for the 2006 World Cup train on squad with an impressive performance against Gold Coast United on Sunday.
Fielded at the base of a midfield trident, Sarkies produced a strong display, opening the scoring with a trademark free kick before excelling as his vision and distribution skills came to the fore.
While he faded towards the latter part of the contest, Sarkies succeeded in reminding the wider football public of the ability which saw him anointed as the ‘next big thing- in Australian football, consequently underlying the level of quality present throughout the Heart playing squad.
Head coach John van ‘t Schip said Sarkies season debut performance would provide the two-time Socceroo with a confidence boost as he looks to cement his place in the match day squad.
Van ‘t Schip said: “He did well. He-s another player who had a very bad injury and struggled to get back into physical form or playing form.
“It-s good this year with the youth team, as he played 90 minutes there a few times, so we knew he could step in. For him personally it was beautiful he could score a goal and do well.”
Suffering a broken leg for Adelaide United only weeks after committing to return home to Melbourne, Sarkies- inaugural campaign in Red and White suffered from inconsistency and a lack of opportunities, making five appearances during the 2010/11 season.