Luckless Australia defender Curtis Good has “all the attributes” to be a hit in the English Premier League and is a “big loss” for the Socceroos at the FIFA Wold Cup.
That’s the view of former Scotland international Darren Jackson, the current assistant boss at Dundee United – the Scottish Premier League club where Good’s form brought him into contention for Brazil before injury ruled him out of the tournament last week.
As 21 year-old Good prepares to undergo surgery this month on an injury that has stubbornly refused to respond to conventional treatments, former Newcastle United and Celtic striker Jackson underlined just how big a setback his absence could be for Australia as it prepares to face Chile, Netherlands and Spain at the World Cup.
Jackson declared: “We’d love to have him back at our club on another loan spell because he was immense for us in the few games he played (five in all) before the injury,” said Jackson.
“Obviously he has to get himself right first and then maybe we can have some discussions with Newcastle about whether that could happen or not. It’s certainly something we’d like to see happen.
“Newcastle may have their own plans for him and perhaps he will figure in their first tem squad next season – he’s certainly good enough.
“He basically hit the ground running for us and was excellent in everything he did … I think he ticks all the boxes when you are looking at a Premier League defender of the very near future.
“To be honest, his injury killed us. We ended up finishing fourth and losing in the Scottish Cup final and we just weren’t the same without him.”
The former Young Socceroos skipper was left shattered as the injury flared again in camp for Australia, forcing coach Ange Postecoglou to cut Good from his touring party of 27 that arrived in Brazil on Thursday.
“The boy has been very unlucky,” Jackson said. “We missed him and so will Australia.
“What he needed when he came to Scotland was game time in the first team rather than playing for the Under-21s.
“He just needed an opportunity to show what he could do and we gave him that. That’s what got him noticed by Australia and I have a feeling he’ll be a mainstay at the back for his country in the years to come.
“His calmness is the key. He’s unflustered no matter what the situation and I believe, if he delivers on the potential I have seen, he has all the attributes to play at the top level.
“He’s relaxed on the ball, terrific in the air and for a tall boy he also has a good turn of pace without being electric.
“He also has a terrific attitude. He could have come up from Newcastle and thought maybe he was better than the other boys because he’s on the books of a Premier League club.
“But he’s humble and level headed – and everybody at our club took to him immediately.”
Good, who also had a successful loan spell with Bradford City as it charged to the final of the League Cup the previous season, has yet to make a first team appearance for Alan Pardew’s Magpies.
“I certainly can see him in the Premier league. People say what a great competition it is and maybe that fazes some players,” added Jackson, who is no.2 to Tangerines head coach Jackie McNamara.
“But I am convinced it’s also over-hyped at times and Curtis would certainly handle it if the chance came his way.”
Though it my be hasty to suggest the Good can come in next season as Newcastle’s first choice centre-back, it is certainly great news to hear that he’s making such an impression in Scotland.
A number of Toon players have been plying their part-time trade in Scotland over the past few years, and have hugely impressed: Paul Dummett is one example. Having played in thirty games last season for St Mirren, he has burst his way into the first team this year.
We’ll have to wait and see if Good will get the same opportunity for Newcastle in the coming season.