On-fire Goodwin dreaming of hometown Roos return

Sparta Rotterdam savior Craig Goodwin is hoping his last-day-of-the-season rescue act for his club could be the catalyst for a recall for his country.


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The former Adelaide United left-sided midfielder delivered salvation in his 30th game in all competitions for the side he joined a year ago, coming off the bench for two assists and a goal to inspire Sparta to the 3-1 win over Go Ahead Eagles last weekend.

The three points saved them from dropping out of the Eredivisie, and saw Goodwin earn all the garlands.

It capped off what has been a roller-coaster ride of a first season in Holland with a timely reminder of what he can offer for his club, and potentially, the green and gold.

Goodwin is almost certain to be named in Ange Postecoglou's preliminary 30-man squad on Monday for 'super' June, it will be the chance to build on his most recent cap - an appearance off the bench against England last May.

"You never know what's going to happen but I think I showed in our final match I can certainly come on and change a game," he said.

"If I get picked, it would be fantastic but there are a lot of players doing well ... hopefully I have done enough to put my name forward."

The first fixture of a hectic June program for Australia is the crucial World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia in Goodwin's hometown of Adelaide, closely followed by the friendly against Brazil and Confederations Cup in Russia.

"Obviously, with the game in Adelaide, it would be fantastic to be involved," he said.

"I've been involved in two or three squads but missed out on last one (against Iraq and UAE) in a period when I was injured, so hopefully I will get selected again.

"Ange has some good wingers and attacking players but I am here and ready to be called upon ... to do my best in training and put my name up to play.

"That's always been the dream: to be as good as you can be.

"I want to be an international player and to create memories you can cherish for the rest of my life.

"Coming to Europe to play in a better league was all about improving and if you can do that then you are going to be a chance with the national team."

Buoyed by helping his club avoid returning to the second tier, Goodwin's confidence is soaring.

"To come off the bench and make that sort of impact was important for me," he said.

"I think I showed I can be very effective for the team and also change the game.

"It was a good way to finish, that's for sure. And I probably needed that (with the Socceroos in mind)."

After a bright start for Sparta, injuries stymied Goodwin, 24, as the season unfolded, and his impact on the final day provided a fitting finale.

"It's been frustrating at times at the back-end of the season with injuries and not being in the starting side as much as I'd have liked," said Goodwin.

"So, to come on and play the way I did against Go Ahead at halftime was a really good move for me.

"The last three months I've been been injury free but have found myself in and out of the starting eleven (15 of 27 league appearances coming off the bench)."

Despite some hiccups, Goodwin says he can look back on what has been a "pretty successful first season in Europe".

"Some players come over and they get injured and are not really playing at all," he added.

"It's been hard adapting to the training on the Astro-turf we have here ... but I ended up playing 27 league games out of 34, and I've still been able to pitch in with few goals (four) and some assists as well."

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4 min read
Published 21 May 2017 at 10:34am
By Dave Lewis
Source: SBS