Goodwin eager to face Phoenix

Craig Goodwin says he expects the Jets to face their sternest test of the pre-season so far against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Craig Goodwin says he expects the Jets to face nothing less than their sternest test of the pre-season so far when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Rockwell Automation Park on Saturday.

The match against Wellington will mark the first time the Jets have faced an Hyundai A-League opponent so far this pre-season and Goodwin said the entire Newcastle squad is eagerly anticipating the contest.

“It-s a very important time for us because we-re getting closer to the season and this is when it starts to get really serious,” Goodwin said.

“I think with the games coming up, we-ve got more A-League opposition, so in terms of our concentration and getting everything right, it-s a very important period for us.

“I think Wellington are obviously going to be the toughest opposition of the pre-season so far and it-s going to be a good hit-out.

“They have a new coach and a few new players so it will also be interesting to see how they-re travelling and hopefully we can get a new result.”

Goodwin scored the Jets- opening goal in their 3-0 win over the Canberra NPL All Stars at McKellar Park on Wednesday night.

After finidng the back of the net on three occasions last season, the recently-capped Socceroo said he wanted be a more regular contributor on the score sheet for the Jets during the 2013/14 campaign.

“It-s always good to get on the scoresheet and last season that was something I probably lacked a bit in my game,” Goodwin said.

“I think for this season for me it-s definitely about getting more goals, more assists and more end product.

“It-s good for the confidence to do that in the pre-season, but the challenge is to make sure I carry that into the A-League.”

Goodwin has featured at left wing-back in the 3-4-3 formation the Jets have trialled at different stages during the pre-season.

The 21-year-old said he was slowly adapting to the new system along with the rest of his teammates.

“It-s definitely different and I think it-s going to take a bit of time for everyone to adapt to it in terms of learning their roles and whatnot,” Goodwin said.

“There-s times where I-ll be able to get forward which is something I really enjoy doing.

“I-ll also have a pretty important role to play defensively in terms of tracking back and things like that, so it-s just up to me to be aware of when the right time to go forward is.

“I think it can work well for us once we get it firing properly.”

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix Rockwell Automation Park, Weston Saturday, August 24th Kick-off 4.30pm