Papas gives update on Jurman & Goodwin

It’s a big clash with the reigning champions this Friday night as we head to Melbourne to face City for the second time in as many weeks and Manager Arthur Papas gave an update on the team in the lead-up including captain Matt Jurman and youngster Archie Goodwin.

After exploding onto the scene last season, including a goal against Melbourne City, 17-year-old Archie Goodwin has been a name on many Jets fans’ lips.

Having experienced numerous niggles and injuries though throughout his young career as he’s made his way through the youth academy, the talented striker has yet to feature in 2021/22.

With the long-term development the Club’s top priority for Goodwin, Papas admitted that he and the coaching staff were taking a cautious approach in preparing him and his body before bringing him back into the fold.

“Physically, we had to make sure we put a program in place that’s not just about one season, it’s about having a career,” Papas said.

“A lot of research went into finding out what’s going on with his body because it wasn’t exactly where it needed to be and he was breaking down a lot early on.

“But he’s bought into that [process], and the family has bought into it because they understand.

“He’s at the stage now where he’s training fully [but] he’s still got to get to the stage where he can play 90 minutes in the youth team.”

Despite the on-going process for Goodwin’s return, Papas believed the local junior could still play a part in the first-team at some point this season.

“I know he made a huge impact at the back-end of last season and I think he can still do that again at some stage this season,” he said. “But the main thing is we prepare him for his career in football, not just a season.

“We know how talented he is.

“I know everyone wants to see him make a big impact right now but my preference is I see him play for ten years, not just play for a couple of seasons and his body doesn’t allow him to play anymore because he’s been subjected to a lot as a very young player.

“It’s our responsibility as coaches and high-performance staff to make sure we’re giving these players the platform to have a career.

“We need to look after our young talents and not just expose them… Hopefully it gives him the chance to have the career he could possibly have.”

Last time the side faced City, skipper Jurman only featured for 28 minutes before being forced from the field after a roll of the ankle.

He travelled with the team but was a late scratching to face Victory. In an injury update, Papas said the veteran defender would again be with the team in Melbourne for this weekend, but could not confirm if he’d be part of the matchday squad.

“He’s pulled up well,” he said on Jurman. “He was a possibility against Victory [but] we’ll still make a decision fairly late on…We know there’s another two games in the following week.

“Of course, Matty is important being the captain and leader of the team, but we put Taylor in on the weekend and Taylor did very well, so we’ve got options.

“The rest of the squad have pulled up really well, so it’s a credit to the players and the staff with how hard they’re working to maintain themselves. We’ve got everyone available which is pleasing.

“The players have got to be 100% to be selected. We’ve got a squad and we rely heavily on the squad.”