Turkey reunion has to wait for Reading FC's KaracanBy Jonny Fordham
November 10, 2011
Jem Karacan has been forced to withdraw from Turkey Under-23’s 10-day training camp after spraining his ankle.
The energetic midfielder was looking forward to linking up with his international team-mates for the first time in 18 months, but suffered the knock in the 1-0 win against Birmingham City.
So instead of training in the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya where the average temperature is more then 21 degrees in November, Karacan is stuck in the Hogwood Park treatment room.
He said: “It’s brilliant to be involved again. I would have liked to have been called up to the full squad, but it's nice to have my name back in there even though I can’t go.
“I know I can be a Turkish international and I think my form last year might have warranted a call-up.
“I have to keep working hard and do well for this team. I have to push myself and do well for my reputation.
“I haven’t played for a year and a half so it would have been nice to put the kit back on again.”
Karacan has recaptured his early season form after being dropped by manager Brian McDermott for five games.
But he knows his dream of that first international cap requires even more effort with two Real Madrid galacticos ahead of him.
“We’ve Nuri Sachin and Hamit Altintop – they’re both quality players so if I’m not getting in the team I can hold my hands up,” said Karacan.
“There’s more and more foreign Turks involved now. You’ve got those two players at Real Madrid and the international side isn’t easy to get into, I know that.
“So the better I do for Reading the better my reputation will get and I’ll go from there. There’s lots of players playing in Europe in that senior squad.
“So to be recognised in the Under-23 squad is still a good aim for me.”
Eagle-eyed Royals fans might have also noticed a sprouting of facial hair on Karacan’s top lip as the Academy graduate is taking part in Movember to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer as well as another good cause.
And he added: “I was going to donate some money to the Turkish earthquake as well if I can keep the tache all month.
“I’ve been getting some banter about it, but it’s all for a good cause.
“If it stops itching as much as it has been then I’ll be keeping it for the month.
“But I’ve just put a bid in on a new house in Reading and all my money is getting stuffed away as my mum keeps reminding me.
“The offer went in on Saturday, so fingers crossed. If the buyers are listening out there. . . take it!”