Socceroos hero Craig Goodwin has called on federal and state governments to increase their investment in Australian football to ensure the sport truly cashes in on the national team’s memorable FIFA World Cup campaign.
One of the Socceroos’ three goalscorers in Australia’s run to the knockout stages in Qatar, Goodwin wants the squad’s effort to be built on to ensure even better performances on the world stage in the future,
To help do that, football in Australia would benefit from greater support from governments in terms of dollars matching the sport’s participation rate.
The 2021-22 Australian Sports Commission annual report showed that football received less funding than athletics, basketball, cycling, hockey, sailing and swimming despite more people playing the game than a host of sports including golf, tennis, basketball, Aussie rules, cricket, rugby league and rugby union.
“Football is very low down on the list of investment in terms of numbers compared to other sports,” Goodwin said.
“That’s one thing that massively needs to change. (Football) has the most participation at junior levels, and if we can match the investment and put in more into the game here in Australia, that’ll gave it the best chance.”
The Adelaide United captain feels more dollars need to go towards coaching development.
“The biggest thing that we can focus on is trying to match the training, the coaching and the quality of coaching that the European nations get,” Goodwin said.
“If we can close the gap in that aspect, and get kids playing a lot more football and getting coaching from a young age, hopefully that can give us a better foundation for the future.”
Goodwin praised the World Cup effort of Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, but is unsure whether the former Sydney FC mentor will continue in the national role.
“He’s done fantastically over the last four years to get us to where we are and it’s a pleasure to work with him,” Goodwin said.
“We don’t know what he’s going to do and that’s up to him to decide. He said he doesn’t know what he’s going to do right now.
“He said he was looking forward to a bit of a break and I’m sure that decision will be made in due time.”
As for Goodwin, he’s intent on remaining loyal to Adelaide United despite potential overseas interest in him on the back of his World Cup form.
“I’ve signed a long-term deal here and I’ve got a lot of work to do to help the team win trophies because that’s what I want to do here,” he said.
“My future is with Adelaide … I’m happy here.”
Goodwin was confident of playing a role for the Reds on Friday night against Brisbane Roar at Moreton Daily Stadium.
“Whatever role I’m playing, whether it’s from the start or whether it’s off the bench, I know what I need to do,” he said.
Story Credit: news.com.au