Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins has defended the release of Craig Goodwin to Adelaide United, saying his exit was needed to strengthen the Jets squad in other areas.
Newcastle surprisingly released the under-contract Goodwin, who joined the Jets from Melbourne City (Heart) in 2012.
This week the 22-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Reds, his hometown club, after making 42 appearances and scoring five goals for the Hunter side.
The Jets are tipped to sign former Adelaide United youth team captain Allan Welsh in the next few weeks and have been linked to former Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu.
“It’s a loss of a very nice kid and a good player, but moving forward we need to strengthen in other areas,” Stubbins told FourFourTwo.
“We had five left-sided players for two positions and once Adelaide made it known they’d like him it was a situation, although difficult, that we decided to release Craig and look to bolster our stocks in other areas.”
“We wish him well and he is a player thought highly of amongst the Newcastle community. Football is a hard game to balance at the best of times but certainly requires strong decisions to be made on occasion.”
Goodwin made his Socceroo debut in 2013 and has two caps for Australia.
A versatile left back and left winger, Goodwin broke into the A-League after a season in the Victorian State League with Oakleigh and made four appearances for Heart before joining Newcastle.
The Jets have undergone a huge overhaul in the off-season with the departures of Socceroos Adam Taggart and Josh Brilliante, marquee striker Emile Heskey, Zenon Caravella, Josh Mitchell, Young Socceroo Connor Chapman, James Brown, Michael Bridges, Nick Ward and captain Ruben Zadkovich.
In August the club released former Joey and Young Socceroo midfielder Mitchell Oxborrow, who returned to Perth for family reasons.
Newcastle has brought in Marcos Flores, Edson Montano, Jonny Steele, Billy Celeski, Josh Barresi, Adrian Madaschi, Sam Gallagher and Jeronimo Neumann.