Adelaide winger Craig Goodwin says he would love a crack at playing against the Reds’ bitter rivals Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
Having secured the Premiership in dramatic fashion on the weekend, the Reds will watch what unfolds this weekend before learning their opponents in the grand final qualifier.
Gui Amor’s side will take on the lowest-ranked winner from the Elimination Finals – either Melbourne City, Perth Glory or Victory.
But there’s only one side Goodwin wants to line up against at Coopers Stadium on Friday week – and it’s the team that ironically helped them win the Premiership by holding Brisbane Roar to a 0-0 draw last weekend in the season’s final round.
“I guess if you wanted the best sort of spectacle it would be nice to get Melbourne Victory,” Goodwin told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’d prefer to play the derby. It’s a bigger game, I think it will be a better occasion and I think we’d be right up for it.
“You always relish the chance to play against your rivals,” he added.
“Always the biggest games of the season are against Melbourne Victory for us. It’s the sort of games you look for in the fixture list at the start of the season.
“If that opportunity was to come up in the finals it would be fantastic.”
The two clubs have history in the finals, the most famous coming back in Season 2 of the Hyundai A-League when an Archie Thompson-inspired Victory won the decider 6-0.
None of the current Reds squad were involved back then but they know how much the result stung the club and its fans.
“From where we came from at the start of the season, [to win the title] would make it more special,” Goodwin said.
“Obviously everyone was writing us off and if we were able to win it would be fantastic.
“No-one had ever made the six from having no wins after eight games so you kind of doubt a little bit but you always you knew we had a fantastic squad and we were too good to be in the position we were in.
“It was only a matter of time before we turned it around but we just had to knuckle down and focus.”
There has been speculation Goodwin could be on his way out of the Reds and A-League at the end of the campaign, with plenty of interest in the 24-year-old from abroad.
He’s already gone public with his ambitions for overseas football though it’s not on his radar right now.
“I’m just focusing on Adelaide. I’ve got hopefully a couple of games here and then I’ll focus on what’s going to happen at the end of the season when that arrives,” he said.
“For me it’s about playing well and trying to help the club and win something with this team.”