“We’ll see what happens”: Mariners gun not ruling out extended stay in warmer climes
He’s had a successful career playing in one of the world’s toughest leagues but on-loan Central Coast Mariners midfielder Jem Karacan says the Hyundai A-League has presented its own sort of challenges.
The 30-year old, on-loan from Championship side Millwall, admitted he had struggled with the heat upon arriving in Australia in January.
“It’s been different everywhere I’ve been,” Karacan told www.a-league.com.au.
“The Championship is relentless, two games a week, 46 games a season, it’s 27 here.
“It’s a bit nicer having less games but the games are end to end here so it’s been tough with the heat, the climate is definitely different.
“First couple of games I had it was over 30 degrees so I was struggling really to acclimatise myself with it but luckily enough the weather has been cooler recently so I’ve been able to adjust and I’m feeling a lot better and fitter.”
The English-born Turkish youth international has made an immediate impact since arriving down under and scored his first goal in the Mariners’ emotional F3 Derby win in Round 22.
Not content with warming the pine in England’s second tier, Karacan leapt at the opportunity to ply his trade halfway across the world, hoping it would inject some more life into his career.
“I just want to start enjoying my football again,” he explained.
“I got the opportunity to come over here and I could have done the easy thing and stayed in England but I wanted to challenge myself and it’s been tough but good.
“I’ve been enjoying myself and we got the win on the weekend, it’s one performance and we haven’t got enough all season so hopefully we can finish the season stronger.”
In fact, Hyundai A-League fans may even see Karacan back in Mariners colours next season, though the man himself is being careful not to reveal too much.
“Obviously I’m out of contract,” Karacan said.
“There’s been initial discussions but the club’s in a bit of a different position at the moment with a different manager and I think there will be changes to the structure of the club so we’ll see what happens.
“My job is to just keep playing the games and doing the job on the pitch.”