Of football and Scottish family; Goodwin’s perfect juggling act

Craig Goodwin's perfectly juggling football and life, leading the Reds and being a dedicated young father.

Craig Goodwin has spent the last 14 months learning the ropes of parenthood while juggling new highs on the football field.

His return to Adelaide from Saudi Arabia with fiancé, Katelyn, came at a perfect time, with the young couple ready to start a family in the city they hail from.

Their son, Ezra, is now one, and they couldn’t be happier raising him in Adelaide with a strong support network of family and friends.

The name ‘Ezra’ is Hebrew for ‘helper’ – the couple landed on it when they were in the Middle East, and their favourite music artist is George Ezra.

Craig Goodwin with his son, Ezra, celebrating an Adelaide United win at Coopers Stadium in the 2021/22 season.

Fortunately for the pair then, it was their Scottish heritage that originally brought them together in 2018.

Goodwin and Katelyn’s parents were involved in a Scottish bag pipe band, and their relationship started at a mutual event they were both reluctant to attend.

“I always knew his family, but he was playing abroad in Holland (with Sparta Rotterdam) and, when he came home, we both had a 50th birthday party of one of the band members that we didn’t want to go to,” Katelyn reminisced.

“But Craig’s old Raiders coach, John Duthie, was coming that night, so his dad made Craig go so he could say ‘hey’ and do the ‘football thing’.

“My parents dragged me along as a designated driver and honestly, I wasn’t interested in speaking to Craig because he was a footballer (laughs).

“But he did pull out a stool for my mum and let her sit down and that’s when I said hello, and the rest is history.”

The support from Katelyn and now Ezra has helped Craig display incredible consistency for United across each of the various stints the wingman has had at the club.

Craig’s first full season back in Adelaide on loan from Saudi Arabia in 2021/22 was one of his best, and that’s saying something considering the reputation the versatile winger has established over the years.

The 30-year-old Socceroo registered eight assists and 11 goals in all competitions that season as he became the Club’s all-time top-scorer, and subsequently claimed his second Aurelio Vidmar Medal.

Craig Goodwin with his fiancé, Katelyn, at the Dolan Warren Awards for 2022.

His run of form that season led to a debut goal in the Green and Gold, which was an overwhelmingly emotional moment for a player always around the fringes of selection.

Goodwin is one of the Reds’ greatest-ever players, with an Isuzu UTE A-League Premiership and Championship double in 2016, as well as the 2018 Australia Cup in his illustrious trophy cabinet.

His consistency is further astonishing when you consider he is tasked with early-morning wake ups with Ezra when he returns from away trips.

“It’s only fair,” Katelyn chuckles. “Craig spends a lot of time on the road so, when he does come back during the week, most of the time he does the 3:00am wake-up call.

“He’s a very, very good dad and I’m very lucky to have him.”

Katelyn is a registered nurse and will return to the profession to continue helping others when little Ezra is a touch older, and things are a bit more settled for the young family.

Meanwhile on the field, Goodwin’s primary focus with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ on the horizon is to take it game by game with his hometown Club before considering which movies to queue on the 14-hour plane trip to the West Asian country.

“I think it’s (selection for a World Cup squad) is always in the back of your mind,” Goodwin admitted.

“That’s the goal of any player, that’s the target, to be there and to be in that selection frame for the World Cup squad.

“But I know that if that’s going to come the only way for me to get there is to focus purely on the day in day out with Adelaide and each weekend when we play.

“And that’s the most important thing for me, it’s Adelaide United and performing for the boys and doing everything I possibly can for them and picking up as many points as possible.

“If I start focusing on other things when I’m trying to play for United right now, then my focus isn’t where it needs to be.”

Craig Goodwin focusing on his football with Adelaide United ahead of potential Socceroos selection for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

The winger’s affinity to all things United is apparent, and he owes full credit to the Club’s Strength and Conditioning team for his fitness to date after an interrupted pre-season courtesy of a niggling groin injury.

“I’ve worked very closely with the medical team, and I have to give a massive hats-off to them for helping me get back to playing games for the start of the season and putting myself in a position where I can be in Socceroos contention,” he said.

“Obviously I have to let my performances do the talking, but I’m in a good spot and hopefully I can continue the form and help the club pick up more points in the coming weeks.”

Goodwin featured off the bench in the first game of the season against Wellington Phoenix, then started against Macarthur FC and Sydney FC.

It makes a return to Coopers Stadium for the first time this season even more enticing for the Reds’ Captain and United’s staunch fanbase.

“I’ve always said that I think (Coopers) is the best football stadium in the country, and I think it provides the best atmosphere when it’s packed out,” he said.

“Adelaide United fans are second to none and when they fully pack out the stadium and give us the support, it’s a cliché, but they really are the twelfth man for us.

“They create a fortress for us and opposition players don’t like coming here to play because of the hostile environment created for them.

“We can’t wait to be back.”

Only at Coopers – Adelaide United memberships on-sale now.