Frank Farina has challenged Jarrod Kyle to prove he deserves a spot in the Sydney FC side as they continue the charge to the A-League finals.
Kyle was officially unveiled as the Sky Blues’ newest signing on Wednesday on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
After severing ties with English Championship club Sheffield Wednesday a fortnight ago, the 19-year-old impressed Farina enough in a week-long trial to land a contract.
But despite Sydney being hit hard by suspension for Saturday’s crucial home clash with Adelaide, Farina has resisted the urge to rush the exciting striker straight into his squad.
Striker Joel Griffiths will serve the last game of his three-match ban against the Reds, while midfielders Brett Emerton and Ali Abbas are also suspended for accruing too many yellow cards.
Despite the Sky Blues being short on attacking options, Kyle will play with the club’s youth team squad this weekend but Farina believes he could play a role in helping the club get to the finals.
“It’s up to him and how he goes, fitness-wise and training,” the Sydney boss told reporters on Wednesday.
“We had some information that he was coming back from England and we had a look at him and liked what I saw.
“He’s a young kid, well over six foot, very strong and very quick, so it’s worth having a look until the end of the season, and we’ll go from there.”
Kyle’s acquisition comes just a day after the club decided to axe Jason Culina following his training ground bust-up with Farina.
Asked if he was disappointed with the way things turned out with the former Socceroos midfielder, Farina said: “That’s a closed chapter.
“Everyone’s said what needs to be said. We’ve moved on and I’m sure Jason has too.”
Kyle, who was born and raised on the Gold Coast, said he learned a lot from his time with Wednesday’s youth academy in England but is delighted to get an opportunity to play in the A-League.
“I’m really excited. I’ve been overseas for two-and-a-half years and to get the opportunity to come back is brilliant,” he said.
“It was just a spontaneous decision. I got a phone call on a Thursday night and flew out on the Friday, came out here for one week and that was it really.
“There was one or two clubs (that were interested in me) but this one appealed the most.
“(Sydney) has won the A-League twice and is such a massive club throughout the city. I thought they were the best club that was offering
Defender Tiago Calvano and last weekend’s match-winner Peter Triantis both missed training on Wednesday but Farina said the pair were in no doubt for the Reds clash.
“They are both just niggles and they should be on the paddock tomorrow and Friday,” he said.
“(Adelaide) is another big game for us. They bounced back last weekend and had a real solid win over Melbourne (Victory).
“They’ve probably been a little bit inconsistent due to what’s happened around the club but they’re worthy of being where they are.
“They’re a good side, have got some dangerous players up front and are a compact team. They’ve beaten us twice this year so are difficult opponents for us.”