Craig Goodwin and the Socceroos ready for the might of France

Adelaide United star Craig Goodwin feared his World Cup dream was over due to a lengthy injury battle that restricted his preparations for the A-League season.

Goodwin, who turns 31 next month, is part of a World Cup squad for the first time after 10 years of professional football in Australia, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

The Reds winger was part of the Socceroos’ successful World Cup playoffs campaign in June, scoring a penalty in the shootout success over Peru that secured Australia a spot at Qatar 2022.

However, a subsequent battle with osteitis pubis had Goodwin concerned that he would be robbed of potentially his last chance to go to a World Cup.

“Two, three months ago, I did have the thoughts that it was probably going to be too late,” Goodwin said from the Socceroos’ Aspire Academy base in Doha.

“I (only) laced the boots up literally the week before the season (early last month) because of the injury I had with the OP.

“I’m very proud to be able to be here and to be in good condition as well.”

Goodwin also takes pride in overcoming other obstacles – including missing selection in Adelaide United’s youth squad as a teenager – in what has been a rollercoaster of a football journey.

“I’m so proud of what I’ve had to go through. There have been a lot of situations along the way where I could have easily given up,” he said.

“I couldn’t make state teams when I was 13 and 14, but it’s that desire and it’s that winning mentality that everyone in this group shows.

“For everyone within this camp and for all the players who even aren’t selected and helped us get to this point, no matter who you are, you’re going through some sort of difficult path.

“Everyone has their own journey to get to where they are and face their own setbacks, and it’s all those challenges that you face individually, connected together with this group, (that) makes us stronger.

“We are a very resilient group. We have a great togetherness among the players and the staff, and it’s something that I think is very unique, and very Australian, to be honest.

“It’s one of our biggest strengths that we are so together and we are a team, and hopefully that can take us to great places in the tournament.”

Goodwin was adamant the Socceroos weren’t just in Qatar to “make up the numbers” in a group that also includes Tunisia, Denmark and reigning world champions France, who the Australians meet in their opening game of the tournament next Wednesday (AEDT).

“We have to go into every game with confidence,” he said.

“We’ve made it this far, and there’s no point in going into a game with any type of fear, because if you are going into these games with that mentality, then you’re already on the back foot.”

Read related topics:Adelaide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *