by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Adelaide captain Simon Goodwin announced last week that 2010 would be his final season. In making the announcement, he said he had spoken with Coach Neil Craig after the Round Nine match and felt it was the right time. He also said he still felt good mentally and physically but that might not be true next year. He conceded he was slowing down a bit while the game was getting faster. He has been considering retirement for the past month and decided he wanted to go out on his own terms and feel as if he were leaving with a "...bit left in him". He also opted to make the announcement now so he could focus on leading the team and not be distracted by speculation about his career.
Goodwin also acknowledged and thanked the club for their help and support when he was battling a gambling addiction. In 2007, he was fined $40,000 with $20,000 suspended for placing bets on AFL games. He said his gambling had been getting out of control and if it were not for the club, especially Coach Neil Craig and CEO Stephen Trigg, he is not sure where he would be. With the club's help, he went through intensive counseling and rehabilitation and said it helped him turn his life around.
Craig said that Goodwin was the greatest captain in the club's short history, not only because of his playing achievements, but also because of what it took for him to arrive where he is today on both a playing and personal level. Craig also praised Goodwin's professionalism and described him as exceptional in the way he is leading the club through what is probably their worst season since joining the AFL in 1991 (to date their worst was 1999 when they finished in 13th place after winning the 1998 Grand Final - ed.)
Drafted via 1995 Preseason Draft
GAMES: 269 (through Round 10)
GOALS: 160 (through Round 10)
HONORS: Best & Fairest 2000, 2005-06; Best & Fairest runner-up 2007-08; All-Australian 2000-01, 2005-06, 2008; International Rules 2000-01; premierships 1997-98; preseason premiership 2003; Michael Tuck Medal 2006 (best on ground in preseason Grand Final); captain since 2008
Just a few days after Goodwin announced he would retire, teammate Tyson Edwards was told that he was not going to be selected for the Round 10 match against St. Kilda. As a result, he decided to retire immediately. Struggling for form this season, the 33-year old was also told by Coach Neil Craig that his poor form did not warrant selection for a farewell game against Fremantle next week. However, supporter backlash, the fact that Adelaide has no chance of making the finals, and a chat with both Edwards and club CEO Stephen Trigg, Craig had a change of heart. Normally a stickler for his own strict selection criteria, Craig said giving Edwards a farewell game and a chance to say goodbye to supporters and give supporters a chance to cheer him off was the right thing to do. In making the announcement that Edwards would play, Craig said, "''In an industry that is cut-throat, highly professional and shows..little sentiment...we have the capacity to show care and a...sense of belonging..."' .
Edwards himself admitted that he was unable to get back to his best and that it would be better for the club that he retire and allow a younger player to come in and develop. He also said he just wanted to enjoy his final game, soak up the atmosphere of it, thank the fans, and try to play his best in his final match. He would like to be remembered as consistent and reliable.
Trigg had nothing but praise for Edwards, describing him as one of the greats of the game who would be remembered for his consistency, durability, and talent. He also said that Edwards had been an exemplary player and person who is well-loved by all at the club.
Drafted from SANFL club West Adelaide in 1995
PREMIERSHIPS: 1997, 1998, 2003 (preseason)
HONORS: Best & Fairest runner-up 2002-2004, International Rules 2002
Tiger Troy Simmonds played his last game against Port Adelaide in Round 10. Simmonds said a chronic knee problem which has plagued him for the past 18 months led to the decision to call it quits. He believes he has gotten the best out of himself and leaves the game with no regrets, despite falling just 3 games shy of 200. Although he will be focusing on his own business which he started several years ago, he also wants to help mentor the club's young ruckmen Tyrone Vickery, Angus Graham, and Andrew Browne.
Simmonds said he learned a lot about himself when he had a serious health scare in 2007. After battling an ankle injury which restricted him to just 10 games for the year, he missed the last four after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs. He says the near-fatal scare gave him a whole new outlook on life and that it taught him not to take anything for granted.
Simmonds also said he would like to be remembered for his character and who he is. Of all the players he has played with in his three-club career (Fremantle, Essendon, and Richmond), he nominated retired Tiger Matthew Richardson as the best player he played with and said that former Bulldog ruckman Luke Darcy and Docker giant Aaron Sandilands were two of his toughest opponents.
Simmonds was originally selected by Melbourne in the 1999 Preseason Draft. He was then traded to Fremantle at the end of 2001. Fremantle traded him to Richmond at the end of 2004.
GAMES: 39 at Melbourne, 64 at Fremantle, 94 games at Richmond
GOALS: 192 goals
Source: sen.com.au, theage.com.au, 2010 AFL Season Guide
Article last changed on Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - 7:28 PM EDT