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Keeping things in perspective

World Cup pain to fuel Good's Newcastle quest

Keeping things in perspective

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The promising centre-back will concentrate on shaking off his injury and impressing at his Premier League club after being ruled out of the Socceroos' Brazil mission

Feature interview
By Iain Strachan

Curtis Good won't let the disappointment of sitting out the World Cup stop him from progressing in his career, with the young defender determined to make people sit up and take notice when he returns to fitness.

Good, 21, was one of three players cut from Ange Postecoglou's 30-man provisional squad last week after he failed to recover from a nagging hip flexor problem.

Four more hopefuls will - barring a late reprieve due to an injury withdrawal - also have their dream ended when a further cut to 23 is made on Monday (Tuesday morning AEST).

Those unfortunate enough to be deemed surplus to requirements would do well to follow the example of Good, who is set to refocus his energy on breaking into the Newcastle United first team.

"It's definitely an ambition, ever since I've gone to the UK," he told Goal Australia when asked about his chances of playing alongside club captain Fabricio Coloccini.

"But if it doesn't happen this year we'll look for another loan and go from there. I'm always improving, every loan I've had, I feel like I've improved and experienced new things."

Upon confirming Good's omission from the group to travel to Brazil, Postecoglou issued a thinly veiled criticism of Newcastle's fitness staff for failing to manage the defender's rehabilitation properly.

The Socceroos boss is not alone in taking aim at the way things are done at St James' Park, where owner Mike Ashley is unpopular with supporters and the future of manager Alan Pardew remains uncertain. The club exposed themselves to ridicule last season for employing gaffe-prone former Wimbledon boss Joe Kinnear as a director football between June and February.

Good however stuck up for his club, claiming Newcastle took plenty of interest in him during his brief stay at Dundee United last season, having previously caught the eye on loan at Bradford City in 2012-13.

"(They) try and keep in touch as much as possible," he said.

"Hopefully it's not usually (about) a fitness issue. I did my rehab back with Newcastle at the time.

"When I'm playing I'm keeping in contact after the games and they try and watch you as much as they can, which is important for you because you obviously want to impress your parent club as well, where you're trying to break into the first team. It's good to know they're watching."

Australian players have experienced mixed fortunes in Scottish football this season. Tom Rogic struggled for game-time at Celtic and his team-mate Jackson Irvine missed out on the Socceroos' 30-man squad despite playing regularly on loan at Kilmarnock.

Good however earned rave reviews during his cameo at Tannadice Park and feels the hurly burly of the Scottish Premiership is as an acceptable environment for young Australians to further their careers.

"I think it's a good place to be honest," he said.

"Players have come through and kicked on, whether that's (to the) Premier League or (the) national team. It's a great place to learn your trade as a youngster, it's completely different to (the) A-League. It's important when you're young to experience it all as well, otherwise you get a shock when you're a bit older."

The furious pace of play - sometimes to the detriment of technique - has been cited as a reason for the languid Rogic's struggles to adapt. Good though sees it differently, having benefited from being forced to make quick decisions.

"I think it's always good to play at a high tempo, you get that in Scotland, where people put you under pressure," he said.

"For me personally I think it was good to get up there and play those games."

With such a mature and considered approach to the game, it's a shame we won't see Good tackling the world's best in Brazil, as yet more weeks on the treatment table lie ahead.

But you can be certain the level-headed former Melbourne Heart man will be more determined than ever to live up to his promise, meaning we'll surely see plenty of him in a green and gold shirt in the years ahead.

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