Stubbins plans to strengthen Jets

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The A-League merry-go-round continues apace with Craig Goodwin returning to Adelaide United, four years after being told he was not good enough for the club’s youth team, while the former Socceroos midfielder Erik Paartalu is being linked with the Newcastle Jets.

Goodwin has endured a couple of disappointing seasons with the Jets although Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins insists he is disappointed to be losing the services of the 22-year-old left winger.

The start of the new A-League season is now less than a month away and the soccer odds suggest both the Jets and Adelaide will be challenging for honours. Adelaide finished sixth in 2013-14 before losing 1-0 to the Central Coast Mariners in the elimination finals while the Jets just failed to reach the play-offs after coming seventh in the regular season.

“He’s a kid that’s got potential but, going through the maths, we’ve got a lot of left-sided players,” Stubbins said. “We are trying to strengthen the club and we need to bring in a player that’s a substantial acquisition.”

Goodwin has penned a two-year deal with Adelaide after playing in 42 games for the Jets and coach Josep Gombau is expected to use him in both left-back and left-midfield roles.

His return to Adelaide also fits in with Gombau’s policy of having more South Australian players at the club.

Goodwin played for Adelaide Raiders at the start of his career before going on to star for Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons. He also made four A-League appearances for Melbourne Heart before being signed by the Jets in 2012.

He was part of then Socceroos coach Holger Osieck’s squad for the 2013 East Asian Football Cup and spent two weeks on trial with Reading.

Goodwin said of his return to Adelaide: “I’m very excited and can’t wait to play the attacking brand of football under Josep Gombau.

“Having the opportunity to come back home and play in front of my family and friends on a regular basis and to play in the team I grew up watching, is something I will remember for the rest of my career.”

Meanwhile, Stubbins has refused to confirm who he is hoping to sign but it is believed to be the former Brisbane Roar midfielder Paartalu, who is currently playing in Thailand.

The Jets were on the verge of signing the 28-year-old several months ago only for the deal to fall through when it emerged that he was unable to gain a release from Thai club Muangthong United.

It had been thought that Newcastle would wait until the January transfer window when Paartalu was out of contract before signing him but a deal could now be agreed before the start of the season.

The much-travelled Paartalu has played for the likes of Gretna, Stirling Albion and Morton in Scotland as well as scoring ten times in 79 appearances for Brisbane. He headed to China last year to play for Tianjin Teda before moving to to Muangthong in Thailand.