Good gets pleasant surprise at quality of Bradford City football (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Curtis Good gets pleasant surprise at quality of Bradford City football
Curtis Good was not quite sure what he was letting himself in for when he joined City on a short-term loan deal from Newcastle last month.
The 19-year-old Australian knew little of English football other than the Premier League fare he had watched for years on television Down Under.
“I had no idea what to expect,” said Good, who joined Newcastle in the summer from Melbourne Heart after graduating from the Australian Institute of Sport.
“Back in Australia I only watched EPL (English Premier League) like everyone else. But coming here to Bradford for my first training session, I was really surprised. They’re all professionals and really good on the ball, so I just needed to adapt.”
Good’s initial taste of first-team football came during last Friday night’s FA Cup second-round tie at home to Brentford at a bitterly cold Valley Parade.
The defender admits he was probably at fault for the Bees’ goal but then earned lavish praise from boss Phil Parkinson for his fine display in Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Port Vale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Good, who will be hoping to retain his place against Torquay this weekend, explained: “I’ve not really grown up playing against big, physical strikers and the first 20 minutes against Brentford were a bit of a shock. There were a lot of long balls and it’s a big step up from the reserves league.
“It’s something you need to experience if you want to make the transition because there is only so much you can learn from playing against teenagers. Playing in League Two is brilliant for that.”
Good’s story is an intriguing one. He went to Newcastle for a two-week trial in May and was handed a six-year deal.
He recalled: “I was at Melbourne and Newcastle contacted them, saying they wanted me to come over for a trial. I was shocked and as nervous as hell, I’m not going to lie.
“But Newcastle were great and really made me feel welcome. The trial went well and they offered me the contract.
“I’ve lived away from home before but Newcastle is a long way and I was a bit unsure about whether to go in terms of leaving everyone. But when there was a six-year deal on the table, my old man was saying ‘you can’t let this go’.”
For the time being, Good is more than happy to be learning his trade with the Bantams – especially with a Capital One Cup quarter-final against Arsenal looming ever closer.
“I do need this experience before making the first-team at Newcastle,” said Good, whose loan runs out on January 2.
“Bradford are a good club to do it with and in a good league. My reserves coach at Newcastle has said ‘opportunities will come, you just need to be ready’.
“It’s a bit quicker physically and in terms of pressing on the ball. Probably because of the heat back home, you’ve got a bit more time on the ball. But here you don’t have time to think and you need to adapt pretty quickly.
“And the weather, of course. I couldn’t believe it the other day at the Brentford game when there was frost on the pitch!
“But I’m really enjoying it here. My grandparents are from Liverpool. One supports Everton, the other supports Liverpool, so I grew up supporting Liverpool.
“It would be a dream come true to play on Tuesday because all my mates back home are Arsenal supporters. When I said I was coming to Bradford, they knew we were playing Arsenal and were excited.
“Even if I’m only on the bench, just to be involved in the game at a packed stadium would be great.”