The Ospreys are delighted to confirm that James Goode has signed a new two-year contract.
28-year old second-row Goode has been handed a new deal that will see him remain an Osprey until at least summer 2013 having originally arrived at the region on a short-term trial basis midway through the 2009/10 season, a stay that was extended first until the end of the season before he penned a one-year contract last summer.
Having comes through the ranks at Cardiff Blues, where he made 15 appearances (12 starts), he made a move to New Zealand in 2007, heading in the opposite direction to the usual flow of rugby talent. He enjoyed three successful seasons of Air NZ Cup rugby with Manawatu Turbos before linking up with the Ospreys within days of his return to Wales.
Having made his Ospreys debut against Bath in last season’s LV= Cup, Goode has so far made 10 appearances for the region, with eight of them coming this season as he established himself as an important member of the core group of players.
Speaking after signing his new contract, Goode said that he was delighted to have made a big enough impression on the coaches to warrant a contract extension:
“I’m overjoyed, obviously” he said.
“I really wanted to stay at the Ospreys, and for them to offer me this new longer deal is great news. I came here originally on a short-term trial and was looking to make my mark. Although the aim was to try and earn the right to stay here beyond that, it’s what I hoped for, I certainly didn’t know that I’d be here as long as I’m going to be.
“I must have made a good impression to be rewarded with the new contract, the next target is to get more game time over the next few years.”
With a number of international locks currently ahead of him in the Ospreys pecking order, Goode acknowledges that it will be important for him to make the most of the opportunities he gets to wear the shirt over the coming months and seasons:
“There’s obviously a lot of competition here and you’ve got to make sure you take your chances when you get them. I think I’ve managed that so far this season, but I’m gutted to have missed out on a few games during the Six Nations because of a twisted ankle. Hopefully there’ll be more opportunities for me, we’ve got the World Cup coming up and that’s a time when I’ll definitely be looking to get on the pitch a bit more.
“When I came to the Ospreys I was a better player than I’d been when I left Wales to go to New Zealand a few years earlier, and I’ve definitely improved again while I’ve been here. I’ve done a lot of work on my areas of weakness, with Filo especially, so I’m moving in the right direction even if there’s still room to improve. I’m optimistic for the future though.”
Forwards Coach, Jonathan Humphreys, said that Goode would have a big part to play at the Ospreys having earned his new deal. He commented:
“I’m delighted for Goodey, he’s made a big impression here as a very professional person with a desire to constantly learn and improve as a player. He is one of our most diligent players, providing strong competition in the second row, which is an area of strength for us, keeping other players on their toes.
“We feel that he has improved measurably this season and has been a key figure during the two international periods, and the LV= Cup especially. We genuinely believe in what he has to offer and feel that he can play a big part for the Ospreys over the next couple of seasons, particularly during this year’s World Cup when there will be a lot of rugby to be played.”