AFL great Adam Goodes is set to play for the Sydney Swans’ reserve grade side this weekend.
Coach John Longmire says the dual Brownlow medallist volunteered to be relegated rather than sit on the bench for Saturday’s derby against Greater Western Sydney at the SCG.
Longmire says Goodes’ shock gesture is a mark of the man and has no doubt the champion will rediscover the form and fitness to play a part in the Swans’ premiership push in 2015.
Goodes only got 15 minutes off the bench in Sydney’s big win over Port Adelaide last weekend and told Longmire he’d prefer to play a full 100 minutes on Saturday.
“We were more than happy to play him sub again but he suggested to play reserves, get some quality game time, get some form and fitness back and be able to push for senior selection after that.
“He thought that was probably the way to go.”
Despite critics saying the 35-year-old may have played one season too many, Longmire says he hasn’t discussed retirement with Goodes.
“We want him to keep going and he’s keen to keep going,” Longmire said.
“And as we sit here at the moment, we still think he’s got a valuable role to play for us this year because he finished last season off for us quite strongly.
“We’re only round three, there’s a lot of football to go and things can change quickly as far as injury and form (is concerned).
“We’re certainly mindful of that and so is Adam. Things can change in a heartbeat.”
Longmire will make a final decision on his team to face the Giants after training on Thursday, with Ben McGlynn likely to replace Goodes in his 22.
The 2014 Australian of the Year, Goodes is into his 17th season with the Swans.