Gold Coast AL future bright: Thwaite
As bad as the last week has been for Gold Coast United, returning captain Michael Thwaite has seen worse.
Still, United's plight takes some beating.
Coach Miron Bleiberg has been sacked after falling out with owner Clive Palmer.
And Football Federation Australia claimed they would re-evaluate the club's future following Palmer's latest tirade.
Not an ideal lead-up to Wednesday night's Skilled Park clash with leaders Central Coast for a dead-last United.
But Thwaite had a positive spin on the horror week - and it wasn't due to his selection on Tuesday in a 19-strong Socceroos squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
Thwaite's overseas experience has taught him where there is life, there is hope.
And Thwaite has plenty of the latter for United.
Six years ago Thwaite endured a "living hell" at Romanian club National Bucharest when they tried to sabotage his move to Polish champions Wisla Krakow.
At one stage he was not paid for three months, forced to train in freezing conditions before being denied access to club facilities and even had his passport confiscated for a week.
No wonder Thwaite is hardly fazed by United's plight despite the club making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
"I will never say a bad word about Miron or Clive," Thwaite told AAP.
"Miron was the one who brought me here, and held this club together.
"Clive has never missed a beat with the payments and the same can't be said for clubs across the league and the world.
"I have been at clubs in eastern Europe where the president hasn't allowed me to play and not paid me.
"The players are much better off in this situation - we are looking toward the future."
On the field the future seems bright.
A starting team with just one player over 23 suffered a gutsy 1-0 loss to a full strength Melbourne Heart last round.
However, that display was overshadowed as United appeared to go into meltdown off the pitch.
"It has been interesting ... but it hasn't been a distraction," Thwaite said of the last week.
"I am sure the Gold Coast will be a part of the future.
"There's issues that need to be resolved but the players should not be a part of that.
"I have played here for three years so why shouldn't I play here for at least another three?
"But if the players start worrying about the future of the club, it is going to affect the performance."
Thwaite - who missed the Heart match due to suspension - said their last round display showed United's youth policy was working.
"That's always been Clive and Miron's vision to have a core of senior players and build around that for the future," he said.
"You can see the next generation coming through."
United's clash with Central Coast is a rescheduled fixture after it was initially washed out on January 27.
United have not won since Boxing Day while the Mariners appeared to have regained their mojo with a last-round victory over third-placed Wellington.