It’s been a big few months for Craig Goodwin.
The winger became a father for the first time, went through an arduous ankle injury rehabilitation and extended his loan deal with Adelaide United from Saudi club Al-Wehda.
Now he’s got his eyes set on making an impact for Adelaide, and if things go to plan, potentially working his way back into Graham Arnold’s Socceroos set-up.
“It’s a really big season for myself and for the club,” Goodwin told AAP.
“I always say that to be anywhere near the Socceroos, I have to be playing well and consistently here.
“As a winger I need to be first of all getting as many minutes as possible and then contributing to goals and assists as much as I can.
“Hopefully that’ll put me back in the frame for the Socceroos building into the World Cup next year around December and obviously before that, the qualifying stages.
“I feel I can make an impact for the Socceroos if I’m called upon but to get to that stage I really need to hit my maximum level here at Adelaide.”
Goodwin played 30 minutes off the bench in Adelaide’s season opener, a hard-fought 1-1 away draw against Perth.
He stressed the Reds needed to improve at turning their chances into goals but was confident they could be thereabouts come the pointy end of the season.
“The thing that I really like is I feel like every single season we’re underestimated and I think that suits us,” he said.
“We like being in that position to really dig deep to prove people wrong and it suits the group of players that we have here.
“We’re in for a big season, we have some really, really top players and we’ve got some young players that are coming through that are really high quality as well.”
There’s no better team to make an impression against than reigning champions Melbourne City, who Adelaide host on Saturday night.
Last season, the Reds enjoyed a fiery early-season win over City, who had skipper Scott Jamieson sent off, but Goodwin expected a stern test.
“They’re a very strong team and they’ve recruited a couple good players as well,” Goodwin said.
“We know that they’re the benchmark from last season so it’s a tough game for us.
“But on our home turf, we’ll be confident that we can go out there, give them a lot of problems and hopefully get the three points.”