Craig Goodwin and Alex Chidiac were the big winners on the A-Leagues’ night of nights. The Adelaide United skipper delivered an emotional acceptance speech after being named the 2023 Johnny Warren Medallist. Here’s your full recap of the night.
As Craig Goodwin prepared for the 2022-23 Isuzu UTE A-League season, he was fearful an incessant injury would spoil his “last chance” to represent his nation at the World Cup.
Seven months later, the Adelaide United captain looked back on the season gone by as a World Cup Socceroo, and the 2022-23 Johnny Warren Medallist. And he’s done it all with that lingering bout of osteitis pubis simply refusing to settle.
On Thursday, June 1 Goodwin was recognised as the Isuzu UTE A-League’s player of the season; as he ventured onto the stage at The Star in Sydney, with the Johnny Warren Medal around his neck, he looked back at the crowd with the face of a man who had truly been through it all.
WATCH GOODWIN’S FULL SPEECH BELOW
Chidiac scoops Julie Dolan Medal: A winner in rarefied air – how you win Australia’s top gong in 13 games
“First and foremost, I’ll start by saying thank you to the medical team at Adelaide,” said Goodwin.
“At the start of the season, it was a very challenging time for me. Thinking it’s probably my last chance in getting to a World Cup.
“To be able to have the support of them, and the support of Carl (Veart) and the other coaches to help me get back fit and get back playing was fantastic.
“It has been a very challenging year. Every player experiences injury at some point, and for me it was just something to get through.
“Other than that, it’s been an amazing year for myself, but I owe it all to my teammates at Adelaide and the coaching staff. It’s easy for players to sit here and say the playing group is like a band of brothers – but it really is for me, and I cherish every moment I get to spend with them on the pitch, and the coaching staff as well.”
Goodwin saved his final word for his partner, Katelyn, for helping him “to achieve things in my career that at times I never thought were possible.”
“The biggest thank you (goes) to my partner Katelyn and my family, my mum and my dad,” he said.
Especially the last five, six years I’ve spent with Katelyn I think my game has (gone) to another level, but I’ve grown massively as a person as well.
“I think the biggest thing for me is to say thank you to you, Katelyn, for helping me to achieve things in my career that at times I never thought were possible.”
READ MORE ON KEEPUP
ISUZU UTE A-LEAGUE GRAND FINAL: Everything you need to know
GRAND FINAL PARTY: Are you ready Sydney?
MAX BALARD: A ‘crazy’ journey through four countries to Gosford
MELB CITY: Two incredible stories sum up their rise
JAMIESON’S RETIREMENT: The moments with his son that will stay with Scott Jamieson for a lifetime