The A-league Men competition returns on Friday night after a four-week break, with Brisbane Roar taking on Adelaide United at Dolphin Stadium and Socceroos hero Simon Goodwin set to make his first post-World Cup appearance for the visitors.
The man tasked with nullifying the threat of Goodwin, Roar full back Jack Hingert said he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I love these types of battles, playing against good players like Craig [Goodwin], and hopefully I can keep him quiet down our side of the pitch,” Hingert told the media on Thursday.
“We know how good a player he is, and he’s just proved it on the biggest stage possible. That said, we don’t want to worry too much about opposition players. We are focused on what we can do and build on the momentum we built before the break.”
New arrival changes perspective
Hingert hasn’t exactly had much time to worry about facing Australia’s left-wing wizard, with his partner giving birth to their first child – son Billy – just four weeks ago.
Understandably, his new son has taken priority between training sessions, and Hingert said his new arrival put a new perspective on Friday night’s challenge.
“I’m looking forward to the day I can walk out on the pitch with him. Hopefully, I can get to do that soon,” he said. Although he conceded it won’t be tonight, and that Goodwin will be his focus for those 90 minutes at least.
Roar manager all business
Brisbane manager Warren Moon was keen to emphasise the momentum his side was building prior to the break, with their week five victory against Sydney at home last time out extending its unbeaten run to three.
“The last four weeks have been an opportunity to reflect on the first five matches and try to improve what we are doing as a collective,” Moon said.
He also confirmed the squad had been given a one-week break before spending the last three weeks working hard on the training ground.
When asked about the challenge that Adelaide, and Goodwin, in particular, will present his side, Moon was full of praise for the Socceroo, but all business in his approach.
“He [Goodwin] is the most influential player in the A-League [Men], and I wasn’t surprised with what he achieved at the World Cup,” Moon commented.
“We will treat him like we do all players, with respect. We are going into the game to get three points, and that’s our focus.”
Is Trewin on the verge of a Socceroos call-up?
Although his Roar squad didn’t have a representative on the Socceroos’ World Cup squad, there has been speculation in recent days that young defender Kai Trewin may be on the verge of a national call-up.
When asked about Trewin’s chances of stepping up to international level, Moon was enthusiastic about the player and his prospects.
“He’s practically the first name on my team sheet every week so that probably explains what I think of him. Kai has the right attitude, work ethic, desire, and hunger to do well, and if he keeps working that way, I don’t think it will be too long,” Moon said.
Adelaide looking to build on fast start
Adelaide comes into its fixture with momentum of its own, having taken 11 points from a possible 18 in its opening six fixtures to leave it third on the A-League Men ladder.
Adelaide also has a strong track record against Brisbane, having won nine of the last 12 A-League Men games against the Roar, including a 3-1 win in their most recent encounter at Dolphin Stadium back in January this year.
One feature of the Reds’ play this season has been their crossing accuracy, with 28 per cent of their crosses from open play reaching their intended target, the highest of any team in A-League Men history.
Skipper Craig Goodwin has undoubtedly been a factor in achieving this, and it will be up to Hingert and his colleagues to reverse this trend.
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