Craig Goodwin’s Socceroos snubbing has given him extra incentive to lead Adelaide United to an A-League championship.
The 29-year-old winger was a surprise omission from a larger-than-usual 31-man Socceroos squad announced on Tuesday for Australia’s four World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait City next month.
“I’m obviously disappointed because I want to be involved with the national team at any stage,” Goodwin said on Wednesday.
And after having a conversation with Socceroos boss Graham Arnold, Goodwin knows what’s required to change the national coach’s mind in the future.
“I know that I have to keep performing at a high level and picking up as many goals and assists as I can, and for me focusing with Adelaide, and running into the last two games (of the regular season) and the finals, if I can keep performing well, then we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“I always want to give my best but it’s added motivation.”
Despite his disappointment, Goodwin sympathised with Arnold.
“He has a tough job because there’s a lot of good players in that position, and there are still players left out of that squad that you would say each time that could be in there.
“I’d like to be there but for me it’s just focusing with Adelaide now and doing the best I can.”
Arnold admitted the Socceroos’ depth in the wide attacking roles, as well as Goodwin’s rivals being able to get to the UAE for a training camp earlier had worked against the Reds star.
“We’ve got a lot of depth in that position, and the fact is that most of those players in that position are overseas based and could get here earlier.” Arnold said.
“I spoke to Craig at length, and Craig know what he needs to do to get back in the Socceroos.”
Despite 10 A-League players being named in the Socceroos squad, none came from the well-placed Reds.
“The players that have been picked have had very good seasons,” Goodwin said.
“Melbourne City and Sydney, they’re first and second at the moment … maybe those teams, because they have the bigger names get more of the limelight, but for the other players that are competing for those positions, it’s about performing consistently.
“The (Socceroos) squad very strong but we have players in our team that are up to the standard and they could play at that level, but it’s very tough competition.”
The Reds host Sydney FC on Saturday night, and are again at home on Thursday week against Western Sydney Wanderers.
“We need to win those games,” Goodwin said.