After 372 games and 464 goals, dual Brownlow Medallist and former Australian Of The Year Adam Goodes has officially announced his retirement from the AFL.
Goodes chose to retire with little ceremony, telling his Sydney Swans teammates and support staff of his decision behind closed doors, after the team’s 26-point semi-final loss to North Melbourne on Saturday night.
Though it has been known for some time that this would be Goodes’ last season, last night still proved to be an emotional time for his supporters and teammates. Addressing the media afterwards, coach John Longmire said:
“I was a bit emotional but he was fine, he handled it really well, so he’ll take a deep breath now and he needs it. [He] just [said] how he’s been able to enjoy 18 years at a great football club, and the relationships he’s been able to establish over a long time, and how everyone means so much to him. It’s probably hard to imagine life without the footy club but he’ll be right, he’s pretty successful in whatever he does.”
Goodes has had a challenging season with the AFL, having faced repeated booing from small but vocal contingents of opposition fans, which at a point was so bad that he took personal leave and sat out the Swans’ round 18 clash against Adelaide.
Addressing this, Longmire said:
“He’s been absolutely superb in the face of some really tough times, and the way he’s been able to handle himself and go about his business, yet still say the things that he feels and get that balance as good as what he’s got has been a real credit to him. It’s been tough but he’s managed to come through it really well and by no means has his career been defined on what’s happened at different times this season. His career has been defined by the type of player he’s been for a long time.”
Reflecting on Goodes’ career, Longmire added that “he’s been an absolute icon of this footy club, and a superstar of the game.”
Photo: Ryan Pierse via Getty Images