Goodwin: Consistency the route to Socceroos

Of all the David and Goliath clashes in the FFA Cup round of 32, there is probably no more biblical task than the one facing Darwin Olympic as they take on the reigning inaugural champions Adelaide United.

United have had a dream preparation for the clash playing the likes of La Liga side Villarreal and English Premier League giants Manchester City and Liverpool.

One player in fine form during preseason is Craig Goodwin and, after missing out on the Reds inaugural victory last year, the 23-year-old is raring to go in the second edition of the FFA Cup.

“It was fantastic for the club to be able to win the inaugural one,” Goodwin said.

“It was hard for me watching the boys from the sidelines and not to be part of the success of winning the Cup, and not being a part of it as such. So I am very excited to be in it this year round and hopefully we can go all the way again.

“We have to go in against Darwin and not take it as a win already. We have to go in and play to the best of our abilities.

“Obviously there is a long travel to get there but we have to go in as a real competitive game and look to play our best brand of football.”

With Josep Gombau gone, and new coach Guillermo Amor installed as United coach, Goodwin reflected on last season when at times the Reds style of play was called into question.

“I think our style is quite clear for anyone to see – a passing and possession game,” he said. “All this talk about long balls and what not I think is blown a bit out of proportion to be honest.

“We were a bit more direct at times and in transition and it worked very well. It wasn’t like we were just lumping the ball forward to the striker up front. They were more diagonal to the winger and creating one v one situations. We were just trying to bring in new things from the season before and we will try and do that this year as well – just try and bring in some different movements but try and keep that core passing.

“It’s also about scoring more goals and a better conversion rate and just being solid at the back as we were last year. We were probably tied first or second for goals conceded.”

After a stuttering season at Newcastle Jets, Goodwin’s move back home to Adelaide proved fruitful for the twice-capped Socceroo, and the winger/left-back is hoping to renew his association with the Australian national team once more.

“For me both playing for the Socceroos and getting a contract with an overseas club are goals of mine,” he said.

“I want to be able to represent the Socceroos. I’ve done that before in the East Asia Cup. But it’s about putting in consistent performances,” he said.

“So for me it’s to look and play as much game time as I did last year and then improve in my stats areas – get more goals and more assists.

“Putting in more quality performances and, hopefully from that, I will have the opportunity to represent my country again which is the highest honour really in football.

“As well, if I am lucky enough to be able to do that and lucky enough to go overseas that would be fantastic. But to do that, I am going to have to play consistently and play consistently well.”

Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.