Humbled by an outpouring of support, Adam Goodes is set to resume his AFL career this week.
Granted indefinite leave last week as he struggled to deal with persistent vilification from sections of opposing teams’ fans, Goodes will return to training with Sydney on Tuesday.
He missed Saturday’s home win over Adelaide, but will will be available for Saturday’s away clash with Geelong at Simonds Stadium.
Goodes spent a few days out of Sydney with his family and contacted Swans coach John Longmire on Sunday.
“I don’t think he had intentions to watch the (Swans) game, but he ended up watching the final three quarters and couldn’t believe the amount of support that he had,” Longmire said.
Although his place in the side won’t be confirmed until later in the week, Longmire suggested it was little more than a formality provided Goodes declared himself ready.
“If he puts himself up and he’s ready to play and he thinks he’s mentally and physically right to play, I’d imagine that he will be playing,” Longmire said.
He said the 35-year-old dual Brownlow Medallist sounded a lot better than last Tuesday when he decided to take leave.
“He sounded really good yesterday, he sounded as though he was in a really positive frame of mind,” Longmire said.
He was hopeful Goodes would get a respectful reception from the Cats fans on Saturday.
“An atmosphere that you appreciate one of the greats that’s played the game and you are watching him run around,” Longmire said.
“It’s all Adam would expect as well.”
The Swans coach said he hadn’t discussed with Goodes on Monday whether this would definitely be his final season.
Asked what difference to the atmosphere around the club it would make to have Goodes back Longmire said “they will get a lift out of it.
“It’s great to see him back for a whole heap of reasons.
“Because we know he can help us win games of footy too, because they still see some value in him as a footballer.
“He’s actually playing some pretty good footy.”
Longmire said the club had been overwhelmed by the positive feedback over the past week, but stressed Goodes just wanted to get back to his normal routine.
“We should be really proud as a code and a community of the response from the weekend and what continues to be the response, it’s been incredible,” Longmire said.
“We’re really humbled by that and I think that’s a great step forward, but I’m also sure Adam just wants to get on to the footy side of it now.
“He just wants to get out there and train and play footy.”