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Jul 31, 2013

Sydney FC to scout recruits on tour

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina will be on the lookout for a striker to join superstar Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League club's tour of Italy.

The Sky Blues leave on Friday for their six-match campaign against clubs from different levels of Italian football.

Farina said on Thursday the tour was also a perfect chance to fill remaining spots on his roster ahead of the new season.

That seems likely to include a seasoned striker following Joel Griffiths' departure last month to return to the Chinese Super League.

"We've still got a couple of positions available and we're always looking," Farina said.

"It's an ideal opportunity for us now in Europe to maybe even have look at a few players, whether they are Aussies over there or other foreign players.

"There's nothing concrete, but in three weeks I'm sure there will be a lot of agents pushing players, or players that are out of contract that most probably will be looking at hopefully coming to Sydney."

Pressed on areas of his squad he wanted to strengthen, Farina said: "I think we're reasonably solid across the park but everyone is always on the lookout for strikers or creative players."

Del Piero will meet up with his teammates when they arrive in Venice and Farina is anticipating the Italian great's presence will focus plenty of attention on his tour group.

"I think in one word most probably chaos would sum it up, but a nice chaos," Farina said.

Creative midfielder Nick Carle, who is back with Sydney FC after one season in the United Arab Emirates, was looking forward to combining with Del Piero on the field for the first time.

However, the playmaker was low key about his prospects of a Socceroos recall ahead of next year's World Cup.

"If I got the call I'm always putting my hand up ready to go," Carle said.

"But personally my main focus is to do as well as I can for Sydney FC and do something which I haven't done on home soil and win the title this year."

A resident and product of Western Sydney, Carle is targeting a win over the Western Sydney Wanderers side that enjoyed such a spectacular first season.

"My under-eights at Marconi, the team I coach, will really give it to me if I don't win that game," Carle said.

"Living out there I'm sure if I don't win I'll cop a lot of flak."

Sydney are taking a near full-strength squad on tour, but not midfielder Terry Antonis, whose proposed transfer to Italian club Parma has broken down.

"The matter with Terry is delicate and the PFA are involved and we'll sort that out soon," said Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata.

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