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Wembley final beckons for Good

25 January 2013-SBS

Australian teenager Curtis Good’s dream of being a part of Bradford City’s squad for next month’s League Cup final has received a boost with Newcastle United hinting it is prepared to extend his loan spell at the Yorkshire club.

Good played every minute in both legs of his side's semi-final upset of Premier League club Aston Villa – and is due to return to his parent club on 3 February.

It is unclear whether Bradford boss Phil Parkinson will seek to extend the defender's loan for a second time.

If he does, it’s highly unlikely Newcastle, which has made a raft of transfer window signings, would deny Good's desire to play at Wembley.

“We have yet to hear anything official from Bradford on whether they want to further extend Curtis’ loan but if the request comes he will certainly consider it,” a Newcastle official said.

Good had feared missing out on the 24 February final against Swansea.

“To be honest, it would be heartbreaking for me not to be a part of the final, especially after playing in both legs of the semi against Aston Villa,” Good said.

“It was an amazing feeling to get past Villa, hard to describe really. I haven’t slept all night and I’m stilling buzzing about it. I would dearly love the chance to play in the final.”

The jubilant Bantams squad hit the town on Tuesday night before being shouted breakfast at a Birmingham casino by joint chairman Mark Lawn, who has also promised to fly the entire squad to Las Vegas at the end of the season.

Good excelled at left back as the Bantams went down 2-1 at Villa Park in a dramatic second leg but went through 4-3 on aggregate, having upset Villa 3-1 in the first leg at Valley Parade.

“The loan has already been extended once,” Good said. “The last time the two managers spoke and agreed to let me stay longer and I also had a say in it, so maybe something can be worked out again.

“I really hope so. It’s really a dream for all the Bradford boys to get to Wembley. First we beat Arsenal and now Villa and we deserve to be in the final.

“We knew Villa would throw everything at us in the second leg and that’s what happened. But we hung in there and actually played some really good football at times.

“It was tough early on but once we scored the equaliser we grew in belief and knew we could go on with the job.

“I don’t think it was a fluke, over the two legs we were good value for the result and being a part of it, seeing the fans go crazy, and seeing what it means to the club and the people of Bradford is really special for me.

“To stay on and see it through and to go to Wembley, well, that would be a dream come true for me.”

Good was given a chance in the first leg when compatriot James Meredith broke down with what was initially thought to be a transitory virus, but has since been diagnosed as glandular fever.

As Meredith battles to recover, Good has seized his opportunity.

“I came to England from Melbourne Heart as a central defender but there was talk at Newcastle of being used as a left back before I came out on loan originally," he said. "I’ve been able to make that transition without too many problems.

“It’s handy for the coach and good for me to be able to play various roles, especially if it can help the team.

“It’s been a brilliant decision for me coming to Bradford and getting game time has given me a lot of confidence and extra belief in myself and what I can do.

“I’m tired today but on top of the world.”

“It's back to the league now and hopefully we can take our cup form into our next game,” Good said. “It would make it the perfect season if we could also win promotion. But there’s a long way to go yet.”

Not necessarily for Good, with the 2 February away trip to Fleetwood Town slated to be his final game for the club – unless the loan from the Magpies is extended for a second time.

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