Perfect match in Adelaide?

Craig Goodwin’s move to Adelaide United could be a perfect match for both player and club, with the 22-year-old’s career in the balance.

Newcastle Jets failed to get the most out of Goodwin, who, at his best, broke into the Socceroos squad before only starting 11 matches last season.

The Adelaide-born flyer will now try his luck at his hometown club, although it looks likely that his days playing in the forward third are numbered.

In a somewhat surprising move, Adelaide announced on Monday that Goodwin had signed a two-year contract with the Reds, ending his stint with Newcastle after a frustrating time at Hunter Stadium.

Goodwin arrived at the Jets to much fanfare in May 2012 after a number of impressive cameo performances for Melbourne Heart in the 2011-12 A-League season – most notably his man-of-the-match display on debut in a Melbourne Derby.

But the left-sided player never truly convinced in his two seasons in red and blue stripes, finishing with 44 appearances and five goals for Newcastle.

Don’t be surprised, however, if Adelaide coach Josep Gombau takes Goodwin to another level, as the youngster looks perfectly suited to the Spaniard’s 3-4-3 formation he is trying to implement with the Reds.

Former Jets coach Gary van Egmond once claimed Goodwin could be the Socceroos’ left-back of the future.

Despite Goodwin making his A-League bow as a full-back and his own comments, Van Egmond insisted on using the speedster as a winger during his tenure at Hunter Stadium.

Goodwin often lacks the nous and close control required to succeed in the forward third, while left-back allows him to provide explosive support from deep and gives him more opportunity to shoot from outside the box – two of his major strengths.

Craig Goodwin Reds

At Adelaide, Goodwin will face stiff opposition as a left-sided attacker but Gombau has few other options at wing-back.

Michael Zullo has returned to FC Utrecht and Cassio is heading into the twilight of his career, while Tarek Elrich – who played a number of games at left-back last season – is a right-footer.

As the left-sided player in Gombau’s midfield quartet of the 3-4-3, Goodwin would be required to patrol the touchline, marking the opposition’s widest player in defence, while overlapping past either Sergio Cirio or Awer Mabil in attack.

Goodwin crossed more times than any other player at Newcastle Jets last season with 54, so he would provide plenty of ammunition for Bruce Djite in attack, while his tackle success rate of 80 per cent would have made him the fourth-best tackler of Adelaide’s defenders in 2013-14.

If Goodwin was to push for a spot on the left of the Reds’ attacking trio, his main rival would be Cirio, who struck eight goals and laid on another two last term.

A-League 2013-14

Craig Goodwin

(Newcastle Jets)

Sergio Cirio

(Adelaide United)

Awer Mabil

(Adelaide United)













Passing Accuracy (%)








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