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Carney keenly awaiting Newcastle return

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Emma Kemp

David Carney is admittedly unsure what type of reception awaits him in Newcastle.

It's been nearly nine months since Sydney FC's veteran winger wrapped up an eventful A-League stint with the Jets in the Hunter.

Within two years there Carney was everything from returned Socceroos star, to club outcast late in Nathan Tinkler's turbulent reign and, finally, reawakened fan favourite under former coach Scott Miller.

Now he's excited to be heading back there for Saturday's clash between two undefeated A-League outfits at McDonald Jones Stadium.

On the flipside, Jets players and fans may not have forgotten Carney's quiet yet cutting comments after Sydney poached him in February.

The 32-year-old's signature was barely on his 18-month contract when he likened his first Sky Blues training session to being back with the Socceroos, in stark comparison to the Jets where "with the quality of players compared to here, you can get flat".

But Carney says his efforts for Newcastle can never be questioned.

"When I played for the Jets I gave it my all, that's all you can ask for as a fan," Carney told AAP.

"But that's past history, now it's about giving my all for Sydney.

"It's always good to play your old club, more so because Sydney are doing so well.

"As are Newcastle, so it should be a good game."

At the time, Carney was comfortably the standout player in Miller's Jets squad.

If it was possible to extract more from one of the country's deadliest left boots then coach Graham Arnold and his contingent have succeeded.

And that's all Carney says he ever yearned for at this stage of his career.

"I'm always learning off Graham Arnold," he said.

"That's what I wanted, to go somewhere where you keep learning and striving to get better.

"Sydney are a club that want to win things.

"I'm a winner, and the big factor for me to come was to play under Graham because he's a born winner and I wanted to get back in that environment."

It's an environment he believes helped returned Jets forward Andrew Hoole "improve out of sight" last season.

Saturday will also mark Hoole's first game against the Sky Blues since he was released in June, one year into a two-year deal.

It remains unclear why the 23-year-old Olyroo struggled to make an impact at the glamour club.

New Jets coach Mark Jones felt Arnold had been after "the finished product" when the talented youngster was still a work in progress.

Carney, who overlapped with Hoole at both clubs, said the younger man made the right move heading home.

"For his age he belongs at the Jets because he's going to get game time," he said.

"And in my eyes he's gone back to Newcastle 10 times the player he was when he came to Sydney FC."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Sydney are unbeaten in their last 10 games against Newcastle

* The last time the Jets won a home game against NSW opposition was in 2012 against Sydney

* The Sky Blues are yet to concede a goal this season.

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