The left-sided flanker has been a consistent and solid performer for Australia dating back to his debut against Bahrain in February 2006. A languid and relaxed playing style belies a talented player in attack, and a solid presence in defence, with Carney’s performances remaining steady even when called up to face some of the world’s highest ranked nations.
Carney started out as a midfielder, with a propensity to utilise the full width of the left flank whenever possible, but in recent times he also has served as a direct and capable replacement for Australia’s 2006 FIFA World Cup™ left-back Scott Chipperfield. Intelligent reading of the game helps with his defensive duties, while a natural inclination to push forward and take on opponents remains a valuable weapon especially when advancing from deep.
His club career commenced with a stint in the Everton youth team alongside England striker Wayne Rooney, but he eventually departed Merseyside for a return to Australia where Carney was a shining star for his hometown club Sydney FC in the opening two seasons of the A-League. The lure of overseas football proved too strong and he returned to England with Sheffield United. However his playing style seemingly didn’t fit in at Bramall Lane and he found game time to be infrequent.
A move last year to Dutch Eredivisie club FC Twente provided Carney with an opportunity to revitalise his career, and he enjoyed regular first-team football in the Netherlands under former England manager Steve McLaren until a shoulder injury saw him miss around three months of the season.
Played at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and used by Australia as an overage player at the Beijing Olympics, Carney has been a regular member of Pim Verbeek’s squads as one of the few natural left-sided players in contention.