Adelaide United’s prodigal son Craig Goodwin reveals why he is buzzing to be back in the A-League after mixed fortunes in Europe.
After two seasons playing in the Eredivisie with Sparta Rotterdam, Goodwin decided to leave Holland and return home to Coopers Stadium, where the winger lit up the A-League.
The three capped Socceroo is born and bred in Adelaide and was an integral part of the Reds 2015/16 double-winning campaign.
That Grand Final and Premiership winning year saw Goodwin named Red’s player of the season and the 26-year-old is aiming to produce his best form for Adelaide again this term.
“I’m really excited about being back home,” he said.
“For sure some of the best memories of my football career so far have been at a packed stadium at Coopers.
“I’m excited to run on Coopers Stadium again this Friday against Sydney FC for the first game and hopefully it’s in front of another packed house.
“I’m really looking forward to the coming season and hopefully having a big year for myself and Adelaide.
“We have started off well by making the FFA Cup Final and hopefully we can pick up a trophy there and continue on with the season.”
Goodwin’s time in Europe proved to be a mixed bag with the first 18 months seeing the left sided attacker play regularly for Sparta and also feature in several Australian camps.
But a change in coach in the second half of last season led to the three capped Socceroo being on the outer, so after being frozen out Goodwin decided there was no place like home.
“I had a good time playing in Europe but the last six months with the change of coach I basically got caught in the middle,” he said.
“I had the coach telling me that he wasn’t going to give me a chance to play and he was going to play the players that he brought in and then there was the club saying they didn’t want me to go.
“Basically my reason to come back was to get back enjoying my football again and being somewhere where I would be playing regularly and coming home is where I can get the best out of my football.”
Last term the Reds made the finals and Goodwin is confident that Adelaide will have enough quality on the field to be a contender in the A-League during this season as well.
“I am really excited about the squad and working under Marco Kurz,” he said.
“Marco did some really good things last year and Adelaide did very well across the board despite suffering a couple of injuries to important players as well.
“We have made some good signings and we have a good group and everyone’s willing to fight for each other and work hard.
"We all get along and hopefully that can show on the pitch and we can get some results
“This year if we can keep everyone as fit as possible there is a good chance of us doing well.”