Adam Goodes is glad to have the focus back on his footy, rather than any booing.
With the spotlight as much on the crowd’s reaction as the football itself at Simonds Stadium on Saturday night, Geelong fans behaved in the respectful manner the AFL community wanted.
Goodes was not singled out, copping sporadic booing like other Sydney Swans on the Cats’ home ground but nothing like the relentless booing that prompted him to take a week off.
Goodes did not front the media after Sydney’s 32-point defeat but Swans coach John Longmire hopes the Geelong crowd’s positive response means the booing controversy is over.
Longmire said the booing saga did not affect the dual Brownlow medallist.
“He just wanted to put the focus back on to his footy.”
Goodes had some family and friends in Geelong to support him on his return, after being front and centre of a debate about racism in the AFL.
AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said he was happy with the way the entire AFL community had reacted to the treatment of Goodes, but said more needed to be done.
“Football can’t just do the talking for us,” Fitzpatrick told a Geelong pre-game function.
“We as leaders and administrators must do the talking and the listening, to lead the game out of the issues that caused a great champion, albeit temporarily, to walk away because of racism.”
Geelong coach Chris Scott said the crowd was respectful and positive towards the opposition but also got behind their home team, as it should be.
“We want this to be a hostile place within the bounds of respect and fairness – when the opposition made a mistake I think our crowd got a bit excited about it.
“That level of respect was there but the crowd really got behind our boys which I think most footy people want to see – the crowd involved, really positive, focusing on the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives.”