Curtis preparing for A-League stint

Gold Coast United has bolstered its back four for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season through the acquisition of former Manchester United defender John Curtis on a one-year deal.

Gold Coast United has bolstered its back four for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season through the acquisition of former Manchester United defender John Curtis on a one-year deal.

Thirty-one-year-old Curtis impressed Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg during a two-week trial stint during May and has returned to Australia to start training this week.

Curtis won't travel with the squad to Perth for a pre-season trial match with the Glory this weekend, but will be ready to fire from then on.

"I'm still getting over the jetlag again and adjusting my sleeping patterns, but overall I feel pretty good and I'm enjoying the training," Curtis said on Wednesday.

"Everyone has been great with me and made me feel very welcome and very at home. The lads are just brilliant and have all been giving me stick, so I guess that's a good sign."

"When I first came here in May I had a fantastic time and was really impressed with the manager, the coaching staff and the players."

"The football side of everything has been first class and the club is situated in a fantastic part of the world."

"I didn't know much about the Hyundai A-League before I came here so I had an open mind. It's certainly a style of football that is more suited to the purists of the game and has what you could term a ‘continental' element to it."

"There's lots of passing and movement and it's a lot less direct than some of the UK leagues. I'm looking forward to playing in a different competition with a different style of football. Hopefully that will suit me and I can do a good job for the team," he said.

A delighted Bleiberg said the signature of Curtis signalled a happy ending to his search for a specialist right full-back.

"John impressed everyone with his skill, agility and attitude during his short time with us last month," Bleiberg said.

"He is a quality player with a great pedigree and will be a big asset to us. His experience and knowledge will not only boost the team as a whole, but will also be a huge benefit to our younger players."

"We're delighted that he has agreed to join us and I'm sure he will be a big success here."

"I felt last season we were missing someone who was a natural right full-back. After watching him work I am confident that we have now found the right player to fill that role for us."

Curtis has previously played with Manchester United as a youngster and also heped Blackburn win promotion to the Premier League. He's also played with Portsmouth at the top level but his career has been dogged by injury, especially at Notts County, where he missed the first half of 2008-09.

Most recently Curtis has played for League 2 side Northampton Town over the last season, but was cut by the club along with five other players in May.