Published by James Matthey, 21 August 2018 on news.com.au
BRENDON Goddard will play his last game for Essendon this weekend after being told he is no longer wanted at the club beyond this season.
The Bombers won’t offer the 33-year-old a new deal for next season, meaning he will finish up with the Dons against Port Adelaide on Friday night.
Goddard thanked Essendon and amid speculation this may prompt him to retire, said he will weigh up his options for the future.
“Over the last few weeks I have had very open discussions with (coach) John (Worsfold) about my playing future and I fully respect the club’s decision,” Goddard said.
“I still feel as though I have something to give, but fully respect the club has to make these hard decisions and it speaks to the depth of younger talent we have on our list.
“The club has been great to me over my six years and I feel I have been great for the club.
“I am at peace with the decision but still weighing up my options, given it is still very raw, I am taking some time to think about the future.”
Goddard, who played more than 200 games for St Kilda before joining Essendon in 2013, has since racked up 333 appearances in the top flight and as recently as last week implied he was keen to carry on playing next year. But now he’ll have to find another club willing to take him.
“I’ve felt vulnerable all year,” Goddard told the RSN Breakfast Club. “I think I discussed a couple of weeks ago just about preparing myself for this situation.
“I have done all year … I’ve just been getting my head around that this might be my last year and what do I need to do to prepare for worst case scenario.
“We’re all on the same page, whether I agree with it or not I’ve got my head around that it’s the reality of the situation that I’m in.”
After a loss to Richmond last Friday, North Melbourne legend and footy analyst David King said the time was right for the fiery competitor to move on.
“I’m not worried about his ball use. His ball use is pretty sure, he makes good decisions, but the berating of teammates after that is wearing thin and those sorts of occasions show me that the end is closer than I think Brendon recognises at the moment,” King said on Fox Footy.
“If you’re asking me, I think on the way he plays it’s disruptive in their back six for me. I think it’s time that Brendon moves on and that Essendon move on and play other players in that role.
“Aaron Francis tonight, that’s the future. There’s lots of guys — (Matt) Guelfi came back into the team and (Ben) McNiece who was out of the team tonight due to injury. He’s going to be a very good player for Essendon, they’ve got players to play that role now.”
King reacted to the news on Tuesday, saying he believed Essendon made the right call but backed Goddard to prolong his career elsewhere if the situation was right.
“I think it’s the right call on what I’ve seen and the actual mechanics of how he plays,” King said on SEN Afternoons.
“Managed there is (another year left in Goddard). He would have to want to teach people. Does he enjoy that? There would have to be some concessions made by Brendon to go to the next club.”
WAITE WILL RETIRE
While Goddard’s career remains in limbo, North Melbourne star Jarrad Waite has made a definite call on what his plans are, announcing he will retire at the end of the season.
The Kangaroos missed the finals this year and will finish their campaign against St Kilda on Sunday, which is when Waite will wave goodbye to the game.
The forward kicked 252 goals in 184 games for Carlton and snagged 122 majors in 59 appearances for the Roos after joining them in 2015.
The 35-year-old has called it quits after 16 seasons in the league after being told by North Melbourne it wouldn’t make a decision on his future until after the trade period.