Perth Glory’s Michael Thwaite says he loved his time at now-defunct Gold Coast United but is glad to be at a club that’s “run properly”.
Thwaite – having returned from Europe after spells in Romania, Poland and Norway – spent three years at the Queensland outfit until its demise at the end of the 2011-12 season, leading the club in its final A-League campaign and winning respect for his endeavours as the off-field drama increasingly overshadowed United’s on-field efforts.
The 29-year-old fringe Australia international was one of the most highly sought-after players made available when it became clear Gold Coast had no future in the competition, eventually joining 2011-12 A-League runners-up Perth Glory on a two-year deal in May.
Talking via a statement from Glory’s pre-season training camp in South Africa, Thwaite made clear how comfortable he already felt at his new club.
“I’m a Queenslander at heart,” Thwaite said.
“And Gold Coast United will always hold a very special place in my heart, just as it will for the other lads that played there.
“It’s only natural to feel upset about what happened there, but it’s also a pleasure to now be at a club that is run properly, because Gold Coast clearly wasn’t.
“It’s great to be able to focus solely upon the everyday aspects of the game and the kind of leadership I can give to the team without all the other shenanigans off the field.”
He revealed his relief at the effect of being at a “good, stable club” had made on his young family, while the presence of former Gold Coast team-mates Steve Pantelidis and Chris Harold has further helped Thwaite settle.
Glory are two games into their three-match series in South Africa, having lost 1-0 to AmaZulu in their tour opener before comfortably beating Platinum Allstars 3-0.
They face Bidvest Wits on Tuesday, in their final match.
In other A-League news, former Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix defender Brent Griffiths has been given another chance in the A-League with Central Coast.
Griffiths is following in the footsteps of his brother Rostyn, who played with the Mariners for two years before joining Chinese Superleague outfit Guangzhou.
Brent Griffiths has been given a one-year contract with Central Coast and joins other former Glory players at club in Mile Sterjovski, Daniel McBreen and Adriano Pellegrino.