Retired Sydney AFL legend Adam Goodes says he has achieved closure on the turbulent final year of his career, crediting league boss Gillon McLachlan for playing a big part in that process.
Swans’ games record holder Goodes called time on his career last September after the club’s semi-final loss to North Melbourne.
It was the 372nd game of a glorious career which included two premierships, four grand finals, three club best and fairests, four All Australian nods and a Rising Star award.
Much of Goodes’ last season was overshadowed by persistent booing from supporters of opposing clubs.
The strain created by that behaviour prompted Goodes to take a week away from the game late in the season before he came back and completed the campaign.
Two days before doing a halftime SCG lap of honour with former teammate and fellow retiree Mike Pyke at this Saturday’s Sydney derby, Goodes revealed he had reached closure and was focusing on his many achievements rather than dwelling on the bad treatment he had received.
“I’ve been able to read letters, emails, cards from people,” Goodes said on Thursday at the Swans’ Legends breakfast.
“I definitely feel the love and support out there – there is no doubt about that.
“I think the biggest closure for me was when I did have a sit down meeting with Gill (McLachlan) and had a chat about last year.
“I thought that was a big step forward for me dealing with what happened last year.
“I’ve got great closure on last year and I am now able to reflect on my career.”
Goodes clearly has no regrets about his decision and isn’t missing playing.
“I think seeing the guys run around down at Etihad Stadium (last weekend), I know I’m a fair bit off the pace right now after seven months of doing not much,” Goodes told Swans TV.
“I’m very much happy to sit in the stand and be a supporter.”
Although some have suggested former Australian of the Year Goodes could look at a political career or become even more involved in indigenous issues, Goodes clearly isn’t bothered by not being part of the daily grind of the AFL.
He will head overseas on Sunday, take in some of the NBA finals and have Boomers and Spurs guard Patty Mills show him around San Antonio.
“I’m really happy with the routine I’m in at the moment. I’m comfortable where I’m at,” Goodes said.
“I’m not too fussed about what’s going to happen in the near future and it’s nice.
“To have that freedom and time to do what I want is quite refreshing.”
Reflecting on his early days, Goodes disclosed a couple of little-known facts from the time he was injured before getting drafted by Sydney.
When he broke a hand in the first match of the national under-18 carnival, he was replaced at centre half back by future Geelong star Matthew Scarlett.
He also revealed he umpired for 10 weeks back home in Horsham in country Victoria, as he waited for his hand to heal.