The Hunter Stadium outfit's boss believes one of his promising young charges will eventually become a top-quality fullback as his game develops
Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond believes Craig Goodwin's best position will eventually be at left-back, potentially solving a problem for the Socceroos.
The youngster burst onto the scene when he earned the man of the match award on his A-League debut for Melbourne Heat in a derby against Melbourne Victory in February 2012.
Goodwin was snapped up by the Jets just three months later, and earned a call-up to the Socceroos squad for the East Asian Cup in July.
The 21-year-old has often been deployed by the Jets on the left side of midfield, and also played there when he made his first appearance for Australia in a 4-3 defeat to China at the EAFF tournament in South Korea.
But his club coach Van Egmond has told Goal Australia he expects Goodwin to eventually settle into the backline.
And with converted midfielder Matt McKay enduring a torrid time against Brazil on Sunday morning, solving one of the Socceroos' problem positions remains a pressing concern.
"From a defensive point of view, he needs to improve. I think eventually he probably will become a left-back," Van Egmond said.
"He just needs to develop that mentality of a left-back, because I think it's going to be harder for him to create the instincts of a person in that front third, having to ensure you look to become a consistent goal-scorer.
"Definitely over time it's something he'll develop into [a fullback role].
"There's been a few factors of which we've really had to work with him, it's a testament to Craig, he's worked really hard. But I don't think we've seen the best of him as yet. I think there's plenty more for us to get out of him."
Talking up the promising young player, the Jets coach believes Goodwin has many of the attributes necessary to succeed as a modern fullback.
"His instincts outside the box are very good," Van Egmond said.
"He's got a great shot from anything just outside the box, he can really score good goals.
"[In] the left-back position, he can see the game, he can see everything in front of him.
"He can make very good overlaps and there's not the pressure of him having to score all the time, but of course he can still chime in with those goals.
"And he creates some very good opportunities for strikers with his passing and his delivery."
Goodwin's early promise has already attracted the attention of Reading, and he went on trial to the Madejski Stadium outfit in May, but Van Egmond claimed the Jets have not had to fend off official bids for any members of their squad.
"Craig had a bit of interest earlier, but nothing occurred," he said.
"He went over to Reading. But we haven't had any serious interest or a formal offer for any other players."
That includes club captain Ruben Zadkovich, who met with Millwall after the East Asian Cup, but the Championship club did not pursue the midfielder.
"No, we didn't hear anything," Van Egmond said when quizzed on the skipper's sitation.
"We knew about the Millwall interest but that was the only interest."