Sydney co-captain Kieren Jack is distressed and disappointed a family feud has been aired publicly, saying his model girlfriend doesn’t deserve such mistreatment.
Jack’s mother Donna posted on Twitter on Monday that the star midfielder didn’t want herself and husband Garry, the NSW and Kangaroos rugby league great, to attend his milestone 200th AFL match against Geelong on Friday night.
Jack said his parents are not banned from the game but his priorities of support are his partner Charlotte Goodlet and younger brother Brandon, who also plays at the Swans.
“She (Charlotte) hasn’t deserved the treatment that she has received but she is strong, she’s an independent woman,” Jack told reporters on Wednesday.
“She’s not just a model, I can tell you that, and a lot of people here know that. I love her very much and I’m very proud of her.”
Jack said the public controversy “hasn’t been nice”.
“I have been pretty disappointed at the way the situation has been put out in the public eye,” he said.
“My sense of it is pretty clear: it’s a private matter and I was not going to get caught into commenting too much on it or getting into `he said, she said,’. I think it’s probably an immature approach.
“What I have learnt throughout this is that family issues happen but that’s the nature of it. You move on, the way to deal with it is privately, not in the public matter, and it needs to remain private.
“What I will say is my priorities of support are firmly with my partner and my little brother, who I love and care for very much.
“And as distressing as probably the events have been, the level of support we’ve given each other, on top of friends, other family members, teammates, the Sydney Swans in general, it has probably highlighted to us how lucky we are that we’ve got those people in our lives.”
Jack said the feud was not an ideal way to prepare for a big game against the Cats.
“It has been a challenge, there’s no doubt, but I’ve got no other option and I think I can deal with it,” he said.
“… We’ll get on with things and get on with life and we’ll prepare as best we can and I know come Friday night, I’ll be ready.
“I acknowledge that my family did a lot for getting me to the position where I am.”