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Get Carter! Portugal-based Aussie striker battling to catch Arnold’s eye


Ten years after leaving Australia to pursue a future in Europe, Portugal-based striker Anthony Carter is hoping his days of gliding just beneath the radar will soon be over.

With three goals in seven starts for second-tier Académico de Viseu, the towering Melbourne-raised forward - who most notably spent two seasons on the books of Lisbon giants Benfica - hasn’t given up on his dream of winning a Socceroos cap.

Carter, 26, has overcome two knee surgeries during the course of a circuitous six-club pilgrimage across the Continent from Italy, to Romania, and finally Portugal.

He hasn’t heard a peep from Australia’s national team set-up, at any level, during his journey.

But Carter believes head coach Graham Arnold and his UK-based assistant Rene Meulensteen should take a peek, call him into a camp and make up their own minds.

Arnold is due to name a jumbo-sized 34-man squad for June’s FIFA World Cup qualification hub, and if Carter keeps on delivering then he might just land an invite to compete with the likes of Adam Taggart and Jamie Maclaren.

Playing under his third coach this season with LigaPro Os Viriatos, Carter spelled out the extent of his ambitions.

“I think I learned a lot in my 18 months at Benfica (playing for the second team), training with the first and for my height (1.92m) I’m quite fast and pretty technical,” he said.

“I was set back a bit by a meniscus injury and then when I recovered the move to Academico came. I basically took it to play first-team football.

“My dream is still to play for the national team - I haven’t given up on that.

“Coming to Europe has always been about reaching the highest possible level.

“Injuries have set me back a bit but I’m fit and playing at a fairly high level, and I feel like perhaps I deserve to at least be seen.

“If that means a national team training camp that would be great.

“I’m not saying they should just call me in and give me a cap - definitely not.

“But I think I have some characteristics to my game which might be beneficial to the team.

“Taking it step by step, I just want to show there’s a good striker out there that might be worth looking at.

“It would be incredible for me if I could come in an add something to the national team.”

Off contract in four months after notching eight goals and six assists in his first season with Acamemico, Carter has discussed an extension but is also open to a move.

He arrived in Europe as a 16-year-old, joining Italian club Vicenza, and then Parma. 

Starved of first-team football, he switched to Romanian club Cluj, where he sampled senior action for the first time.

But a return to Portugal beckoned in 2016 with third-tier Trofense where he blossomed as a free-scoring centre-forward, netting 20 goals in 42 appearances.

“I’m starting to hit a bit of form now again under the new coach (Jose Manuel Gomes) and while we’re at the wrong end of the table we can get ourselves out of it,” he added. 

Source SBS The World Game