A fitter and resurgent Adam Goodes is thirsting for a third AFL title, but recognises fairytale finishes are rare.
His 17th season looked certain to be his last when he voluntarily dropped himself to reserve grade after two rounds, but several weeks of improving form have drawn plenty of praise from coach John Longmire.
In a week when most of the players and coaches associated with the club’s drought-breaking 2005 premiership-winning team will congregate in Sydney, 35-year-old Goodes hungers for more success.
If the Swans win a flag this year, Goodes will become the club’s first three-time premiership winner.
“My whole goal about still playing is to win another one,” Goodes said at the SCG on Wednesday.
Asked if a premiership would provide the perfect finish or a failure would prompt him to consider one more campaign, Goodes said “there’s not too many fairytales in football, (former Swan) Jason Ball had one in the 2005 grand final.
“Whether it’s my last year or not, my goal is very simple this year and that’s to win another premiership.”
Goodes pointed out Sydney were one win better off than at the corresponding stage last season.
Although they have won six straight he didn’t expect a repeat of the club record-equalling 12-match victory streak they enjoyed at this time last year.
“As a list we’ve really got that balance and we’ve got that depth and we’ve just got to keep striving to be the best that we can and who knows what happens at the end of the year?” Goodes said.
“Fremantle, West Coast, Collingwood, Hawthorn, all these teams are playing a really good brand of football and Richmond are really in hot form, so that’s our next challenge.”
With his 360th and most recent appearance, Goodes moved into tenth spot on the all-time games list, nudging past current Swans assistant coach John Blakey.
He could climb to eighth by season’s end, with the marks of Brad Johnson (364) and Bernie Quinlan (366) well within reach.
Increased game time in two matches in the reserves helped put the stamina and speed back into his legs.
“I look forward to keeping that intensity and workrate up for the second half of the year,” Goodes said.
He felt his previously troublesome knee was in better shape than in the past couple of years.
“I definitely am moving a lot better and jumping a lot better in marking contests,” Goodes said.
He has drawn a line under the booing he has received from small sections of the crowd in Sydney’s last four games.
“I have moved on,” Goodes said at the SCG on Wednesday.
“I don’t want to give it any more oxygen.”