“But I also understood that it would be very difficult to live up to that expectation.
†[When] we started tumbling down the ladder and losing football matches, there was no doubt i was starting to become more of a recluse. I started to lose the passion for the game.
“It probably only dawned on me during that press conference when I was standing there talking and trying to answer a question and I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.
“I didn’t know then what had happened. When we broke it off, I couldn’t handle the pressure and the stress and anxiety had come over me.
“I really needed to start addressing some of the things that were going on with my life and where I was as an individual.”
Goodwin, a two-time premiership player and five-time All Australian in 275 appearances for Adelaide, said a self-discovery retreat in Bali put him back on track.
He said the 2019 experience served him well earlier this year when allegations of bullying against him came to light. Standing next to Goodwin, the Demons said their coach had embraced feedback from a review of the 2020 season football program and dismissed the claims.
Tomlinson answers May day call
Adam Tomlinson will be a direct replacement for star defender Steven May, but the Demons can make a handful of changes ahead of Saturday night’s clash against Sydney.
May suffered a concussion on Saturday when the Demons their 17 game winning streak was broken by the visiting Fremantle Dockersand will miss at least one game per competition health and safety protocols.
Tomlinson, 28, hasn’t played senior football since round four but is getting another chance to impress after having what coach Simon Goodwin said, “six weeks of excellent VFL footy”.
“He’s back winning one-on-one games and playing our defense system at a really high level,” Goodwin said on Wednesday.
“Of course, with May, [Harrison] petty [Jake] Lever, it has been very difficult to get him back on the team, but the opportunity has come and he deserves his place.”
Tomlinson would regularly play senior football at many clubs, but has found it difficult in a team seeking successive premierships.
Goodwin said Christian Petracca had had a flu attack but would be ready to face the Swans. Nor Smith’s medalist had just 10 touches against the Dockers.
“He has brought a bit of energy and spirit back into the group, which has been fantastic. He’s fine, he’s ready to go,” Goodwin said.
“He had a small dose of the flu, but got through it without any worries, picked up really well and he’s ready to train fully.”
Opposition teams can try to the victory of the Dockers as a template for curbing the demons, but the defending champions didn’t have any of their premiership stars.
Tom McDonald (ankle), Ed Langdon (ribs), Michael Hibberd (calf) and James Harmes (hamstring) could all return against the Swans, who regained their groove against Richmond† Christian Salem (ankle) is also in the mix, but the Demons are weighing a VFL return for the dynamic half-back in the curtain-raiser at the MCG, as he hasn’t played since the first round.
While it could be argued that recalling a handful of players at a time can upset a team, Goodwin said the possible inclusions knew their role closely.
“All of our guys who will be available for roster know our system incredibly well and one thing we know works well for our team is cohesion,” Goodwin said.
“Those guys know their role incredibly well and have built cohesion over a long period of time.
“I don’t care how many guys come back to the team; it will just be whether they are fit, healthy and ready to perform. †
Dangerfield backs push for mid-season trading period
Patrick Dangerfield, president of the AFL Players Association, says a mid-season trading spell could ‘jaw’ a team’s campaign and believes the new mechanism could be introduced in a few years.
The players’ association previously provided provisional support for a mid-year trading period but Dangerfield gave an optimistic tone on Wednesday when asked about the potential for change.
While there is now a mid-season draft, there is still a lot of work to be done before a trading period is introduced, as players must be prepared to uproot almost overnight and move across the country. Clubs have also raised concerns about players abandoning team strategy and intellectual property mid-season.
Dangerfield said the upcoming negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement for men were an ideal time to talk about change.
“In general, these cases align with new SCBAs. Whether that’s the change of the five-day breaks [to enable more Thursday-night matches], there are more, and things like that, it’s all up for discussion and that’s what’s so exciting about a CBA. It poses a huge amount of challenges because there is so much to negotiate out,” Dangerfield told SEN on Wednesday.
“There’s a lot to work through, but there are some pretty interesting and exciting little opportunities that can really spark the game.”
The Geelong champion, reappointed as AFLPA president on Tuesday evening, said a mid-season trading period would help teams and players.
“If you were a contender, and you sat doing nothing through a trading window, and the people around you moved and added an asset – we’ve seen it around the world – it could be such an invigorating period to the season,” Dangerfield said.
“Anyone can win – it’s not like the grand final where only one team wins every season. When it comes to trading and drafting, as a club you can sell it any way.
“I see that a lot of good things can come out of it and not too many negatives. It will never be perfect. I see it as a mechanic to improve the game and provide opportunities for other players, which I think is a good thing. “
Dangerfield is adamant that the AFL manager “will have had serious discussions about it”.
“There will be clubs that support it and there will be clubs that question it. Does it take away the art of list management? Possibly,” he said. “Does it add a greater amount of excitement and intrigue? I think so. After all, we’re in the entertainment industry, so we kind of understand the importance of that.”
Cats Wary of Bulldogs Midfield Depth
Chris Scott is wary of the depths of the Bulldogs’ midfield ahead of their clash at Marvel Stadium on Friday night, and the conceded games in the back half of Geelong needed some extra attention.
“Their midfield is so deep that they need the surplus midfielders.” [play forward]† But you just need to think about those flips and what the composition of their front half will be.
“It’s a bit of a balance between being aware of what they know, but also asking some questions of their attackers. Tom Stewart played well last weekMitch Duncan has been very effective there, our backline group of six or seven or eight players has been pretty solid.
“I don’t think we will do anything to destabilize the way our backs play, so to speak.”
Scott also said the way the Bulldogs play at their Marvel Stadium home was something that had to be acknowledged in order to carry out a “situational attack.”
“I think it’s true for the Bulldogs in general, especially at Marvel, because they have so much talent through their midfield, they support that talent and they try to use the ball. They’re not a stunner of a team, they try their songs and play with speed,” he said.
“If [Aaron] Naughton gets really incisive use of the ball with time and space, he will be a handful for any team defense, and then again we are thinking about forcing them to defend with a little bit of speed on the ball but at that point location where they are best good at coming back.”
Rhys Stanley and Gary Rohan are likely to return for the Cats, who have one win outside the top four.
Hawks’ ruck crisis is alleviated with Reeves expected to return
Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell expects the club’s ruck crisis to ease against Collingwood on Sunday, and Ned Reeves is expected to return from a shoulder injury.
Reeves has not played since he dislocated his shoulder on Easter Monday, but narrowly missed playing against Gold Coast in Darwin last Saturday. He had been put on a reinforcement program in the hopes of avoiding surgery, at least in the short term.
“He had only done one contact session to get there and that was enough to tick him off technically, but it wasn’t enough for what we would call our threshold for a player we think will be important to our future.” Mitchell said Wednesday, as the Hawks were left without a front-line ruckman against the Suns, also missing skipper Ben McEvoy (neck) and Max Lynch (concussion).
Lynch has had a frustrating first year with the Hawks, having suffered two concussions, in round one and round 10, while also having to put in place health and safety protocols. He has also had food poisoning and an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. He will have to go through concussion protocol in order to resume against his old club.
Jack Scrimshaw (concussion) will miss but star midfielder Jaeger O’Meara (tight hamstrings and illness) is pushing for a return.
The Hawks must look for a replacement for Sam Frost. Frost, typically a defender, was used as a ruck and forward last weekend but was banned for one game for front contact with Sun Brandon Ellis. Stung by a heavy defeat to the Sunsthe Hawks hope to recover one day when they celebrate the 250-game milestones of premiership stars and great friends, Luke Breust and Liam Shiels.
“They are both great people and great servants to the club,” said Mitchell.
“I think playing them together is really special… this is actually perfect for them because they’re guys who never wanted to be in the spotlight.”
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