Neil David Tarka ( born February 11, 1983 in Perth ) is a former Australian football player. Tarka, one of Australia's greatest talents of his class, won the 2003 Australian Championships in 2004 and made his debut in the national team before injury problems limiting its further development. After a disappointing stay abroad at Nottingham Forest numerous injuries limited his use of time in the domestic A-League with Perth Glory. 2009 ended his professional career at the age of 26 years.
Footballing career as a youth, to 2001
Tarka learned the game of football at Spearwood of Dalmatia, where he went through the U-7 to U -12 age groups. With his first youth coaches, the then 20 -year-old Scott Miller, he later played from 2001 to 2003 together with Perth Glory. From 1996 to 1998, Tarka in football - support program of the John Curtin College of the Arts in Fremantle, among other things, with the later goalkeeper Brad Jones, and played at this time in Fremantle United; Moreover, he established himself in this period in the selection team of the State of Western Australia. 16- year old, he returned to his youth club, which was now merged to Cockburn City. Originally intended for the U-18 team, he convinced coach Gerry Christie early in the season and acted as key players in the men's team. After he had taken part in the National School Championships in Canberra with Western Australia in 1999, he was appointed as substitutes in the Australian national students to participate in a tour to the UK and Ireland.
After his return, he received an invitation to the Australian Institute of Sport and convinced the trial the footballing manager Steve O'Connor. His first temporary one-year scholarship in Australia's leading talent development program was extended for one year and intended Tarka the beginning of 2001 to the captain of the antretenden in the National Youth League Soccer team.
Beginning of the professional career and championship titles, 2001-2003
After a one-week trial with Perth Glory in April 2001 under coach Bernd Stange, Tarka received from Stange's successor d' Avray me in July 2001 in Perth his first professional contract for the National Soccer League ( NSL). Originally, as a perspective player commits - briefly was also a return to the AIS by the end of the room - it was after the injury- related failures of Gareth Naven and Ljubo Milicevic the away match against the New Zealand league affiliate Football Kingz in the squad and came in the 81st minute by Substitutes to his league debut. At season's end he advanced to the core team and the team reached the end of his first pro season, the championship final against the Olympic Sharks, which ended with a 0-1 defeat.
Even a year later, Tarka was one of the key players of Glory team to the two top striker Damian Mori and Bobby Despotovski, and André Gumprecht, Jamie Harnwell, Matt Horsley, Dega, Scott Miller, Nik Mrdja Simon Colosimo, Shane Bryce, Bradley Hassell and Jason Petkovic, who reached the final the previous year. Again they met here on the Olympic Sharks, retained, however, goals from Harnwell and Mori in front of 38,000 at Subiaco Oval Perth 2-0 the upper hand and thus won the national championship. Tarka was nominated for his performance this season as one of three players for the Papa Savas Medal (best U-21 players ), but the award went to Alex Brosque.
Unsuccessful activities in England, 2003-2005
After Tarka had turned down an invitation for a one-week trial with English second division club West Ham United in April 2003 to focus on the Australian Championship, he completed after the season first in an unsuccessful trial with Erstligaaufsteiger Portsmouth FC and then played against second division Nottingham Forest, who eventually signed him for a transfer fee of £ 100,000 (A $ 250,000 ).
In Nottingham Tarka never got beyond the role of a reserve player and remained until the dissolution of his contract in January 2005 without a competitive match commitment to the professional team. Numerous injuries, which kept him from playing a total of five months, including a care for cardiac arrhythmia disease virus and persistent muscle problems, threw him back as well as his absences due to regular national missions. Tarka itself also expressed a few months after his departure in an interview the impression to have been given after the departure of coach Paul Hart, who had signed him and was dismissed in February 2004 by his successor Joe Kiennear not trust his person. His desire to be active internationally for Australia, was negatively charged him according to his own statement from club page.
Injury Embossed return to Australia, 2005-2010
After his return to Australia - a continuation of his career in England, he did not draw despite offers into consideration - he signed back with Perth Glory, who prepared according to the setting of the NSL in the summer of 2004 to the first season of the newly created professional league A-League. One suffered in April 2005, persistent violation of the thigh muscles, which had to be treated surgically, allowed his season debut until November, its use on 14 Matchday followed only two more before re- thigh problems for the end of the season ensured.
For the 2006/07 season Tarka returned to the defense of Perth Glory and missed only one game during the season. The objective of qualifying for the championship play-offs was clearly missed on the next to last place in the standings, however. At the end of the season Tarka was team internally awarded jointly with Simon Colosimo as best player of the year (Most Glorious Player award ) and also received the awards for best U-23 players (Young Player of the Year ) and was also used by his teammates for player of the season ( players' Player of the Year ) chosen. In the 2007/ 08 season Tarka started with ambitious goals: Perth Glory should be a serious candidate for the title and the defender hoped also to recent nominations to the national team. After only 15 minutes in the League opener against Newcastle United Jets a tendon rupture caused in the thigh, which made an operation necessary for the Saisonaus.
In March 2008, he extended his contract expiring in Perth for a further year. Also, his last year as a pro in Perth was marked by injuries. In the early stage of the season he suffered an injury of the quadriceps, which he did not heal properly and instead ran aground despite pain. Result was below average performance and the loss of his master course, he could no longer retrieve Also during the season. At the end of the season, the club no longer extended his contract and Tarka left the club after just 33 league operations in four years, during which not a single time after qualifying for the championship final.
For the 2010 season Tarka returned, now in possession of a coach - C license and working as a fitness trainer to Cockburn City and came back for one season at the club in the Western Australia State League.
2002 Tarka won the U -20 team, the oceanic qualifying tournament for the Junior World Championship 2003 in the United Arab Emirates, was once a vice-captain also there to the key players in the squad of youth coach Ange Postecoglou. Together with Alex Wilkinson he made during the tournament the Innenverteidigerduo, including a 3-2 victory over the eventual champions Brazil in which he wore the captain's armband. The tournament ended for the Australian team in the second round after a 0-1 defeat against the hosts.
In January 2004, he qualified with the Australian Olympic team (U - 23) for the Olympic football tournament in Greece. Since 2003, he belonged to the Olyroos squad, which has since been prepared with regular test matches. Two months before the Olympics was Tarka in the second round of Ozeanienqualifikation for the 2006 World Cup in Germany for the first time in the squad of the Australian national team. His international debut was on June 4 in a 3-0 win over Vanuatu, as he stood at the back on the side of Tony Vidmar and Jade North in the grid. For his second outing in the comprehensive five Group stage he came back two days later in the final 2-2 draw against the Solomon Islands.
In the Olympic football tournament discharged in August 2004 Australia came up against in the quarter-finals, failed there but the surprise team from Iraq. Tarka remained during the tournament, the only one of 16 Australian fielders without use. Other national team vocations came then for Tarka due to lack of match practice and continuous injury problems no more.