Retiring Sydney champion Adam Goodes has revealed he hadn’t planned to come back for the final weeks of the AFL season until he saw the support from Swans fans, as he battled with the vilification that marred his 2015 season.
The dual Brownlow Medallist premiership winner and three-time All Australian on Friday made his first public comments since deciding to retire after the Swans semi-final loss to North Melbourne.
Goodes gave no clues to his future, other than saying he’d take a two-month holiday with his partner Natalie and that he wanted to be part of the Swans for the rest of his life.
He said it had been a tough year from a football perspective.
Goodes, who played a club record 372 games for Sydney, stood down for a week and missed a home match against Adelaide at the beginning of August, after battling to deal with the booing he encountered at several away games.
“When I decided not to play against the Crows that week, I didn’t want to come back and play footy,” the 35-year-old said at the Swans’ Club Champion dinner in Sydney.
“It was a tough situation. We were lucky to get the game on TV, I watched it from halftime.
“But to see our supporters who stuck by me for the longest part of my journey, and have always been there to support me at this football club, that’s the reason why I wanted to come back.”
Goodes said he knew he’d be protected and supported.
“It was just a very special moment for me. As disappointing as it was to miss a game – and I hate missing games of footy – there was no way that I thought I’d come back from that.
“But I’m glad I did because this football club means a lot to me, and it’s given me a lot of strength and a lot of good memories, memories I will always have with me.
“There’s no bigger memory than to see the supporters and the love, and the way the boys played that day really showed how much I meant to them, which was really beautiful.”
Goodes played the Swans last seven games of the season and coach John Longmire said he was one of the best performers in their two finals games.
The Swans announced on Friday that the club’s other retiring player, defender Rhyce Shaw, was joining their coaching staff.