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Goddard in action

Clubs which didn't make the post season have begun the process of releasing players they don't feel they need next season and opening spots on the roster for draftees. This is known as delisting. This is the second article in a series.

Essendon informed Brendon Goddard he would not be offered a new contract. Goddard, 33, was shocked at the decision while Coach John Worsfold admitted that it was a very tough call to make. An emotional Goddard, who has played every game this season, informed teammates ahead of the final game of the year.

Goddard posted a video at the club's website, saying, "A lot of people probably thought I would be angry and bitter ... but in all honesty I'm not - I'm sad and disappointed because I love the game and I love being here. I know the brutality of football and the reality of it. I respect the decision although I don't agree with it ... "I walk away on Saturday (Round 23) a better person and that's the most important thing." Goddard believes he still can contribute to another team.

Since joining the Bombers at the end of 2012 from St Kilda as a restricted free agent, Goddard has played 129 games. He has finished in the top five of the club's best and fairest every year so far in his time in the red and black, including winning the Crichton Medal in 2013, and is also likely to feature again in the top 10 of this year's count. 

Worsfold said a number of factors had to be considered, including the crop of young defenders the club has on their list. He also believes Goddard could still play at AFL level, "He potentially would be able to contribute ... depending on what any other club required and what role they wanted him to play and what they expected from his output. That's up for everyone else to measure now."

GAMES: 335; 205 with St Kilda (2003-2012), 129 with Essendon
GOALS: 160
Named All-Australia twice, three top three finishes in the best and fairest at St Kilda and Essendon
Captained the side in 27 games
Played under five different senior coaches – James Hird, Simon Goodwin, Mark Thompson, Matthew Egan and John Worsfold

Essendon has delisted Jackson Merrett, Zach Merrett's older brother. Jack was drafted in 2011 and played 36 games in seven seasons with the Bombers. Coach, John Worsfold, praised Merrett for his efforts throughout his career, “The attitude and leadership he has shown both on and off the field is truly commendable. He has outstanding character and has helped to mentor and support the younger players on our list ... "

North Melbourne forward Jarrad Waite has announced his retirement after 17 years. He and Coach Brad Scott met before Round 22 to discuss his future and Waite decided the time was right. Waite, 35, said it was important to him to leave the game while still playing well, "If I had have left at 31 I would've probably been bitter and twisted with the way it ended at Carlton. But now I can hold my head up high and know I've proven I am a good player and I'm not this enigma everyone speaks about. I play consistent football, and looking back ... that's one of the proudest things I've been able to achieve. I'm really proud of the way I've been able to fight out these 17 years in the system. It hasn't been the easiest of careers, obviously I was at Carlton when we weren't going too well, then the massive decision to leave there and come here." He said is completely comfortable and at ease with his decision. He said he would have been tempted to play on if North offered him another contract. Waite has been restricted to just 12 games this year due to a lingering calf injury. One of those games was the Round 22 loss to Adelaide in which he kicked three goals.

Waite was drafted by Carlton in 2001 under the father-son rule. His father Vin played 153 games for the Blues. In his time at Carlton, he had some injury issues and several suspensions which led to a perception of inconsistency, but Waite said he had shed the view he had been inconsistent. "I always thought I've played pretty consistent football ... Obviously there was a few issues when I was younger, but there were other things going on behind [the scenes]. "[It's] a stigma that's hung around for a long time and I've worked really hard to try to break that. I think I have."

Waite played 185 games and kicked 255 goals with Carlton before joining North Melbourne as a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. Waite nominated North's elimination final win over Richmond in 2016, and Carlton's elimination final victory over the Tigers in 2013 as his career highlights, "I don't really like Richmond, and never have. I think it relates from Dad and the Carlton days. We hate them here, too." When asked during a chat on SEN Radio, Waite said he was feeling really good physically with no issues from his career. He has not ruled out a coaching stint in the future.

Carlton defender Alex Silvagni announced his retirement after just 60 games due to an Achilles injury. Silvagni, 30, has not played any senior games this year due to the injury and managed just seven games in two seasons with the Blues. Silvagni, a nephew of list manager Stephen Silvagni, was originally drafted by Fremantle as a rookie in 2010 and soon elevated to the senior list. Delisted at the end of 2016, Silvagni was picked up by Carlton in the 2017 rookie draft. Despite injury curtailing his 2017 season, he was voted into the team's leadership group for his team-first and aggressive approach to the game. After battling the Achilles injury, he was set for 2018 but ruptured the Achilles in his right leg in June and was ruled out for the year. The injury required surgery and subsequently has forced him to retire. In making the announcement, he said, “Clearly you want to have the ability to play on forever, but deep down I knew my body was not up to returning to the rigors of senior football ... I’ve loved my short time at Carlton and I'm incredibly grateful to the entire football club for the belief they’ve shown me since I arrived ... I'd also like to take this time to thank the medical and welfare teams at Carlton, who have been very supportive of my pursuit to get back ... Importantly, I’d like to acknowledge my teammates at both Fremantle and Carlton. You come to work every day because of them. To my coaches along the way, thank you for what you have done. I believe in the direction the Blues are heading and will be watching on fondly over the next few years knowing sustained success won’t be far off. It’s been incredibly exciting to be a part of.

Coach Brendon Bolton paid tribute to the humble defender, “Alex has been a wonderful clubman who boasted a team-first approach in everything he did ... a great role model for our younger players ... but throughout the games he played for us, we all witnessed his uncompromising approach and aggression at the ball. Off-field he contributed enormously to our program, and we thank him for that."

Brisbane has signed Irishman James Madden, 18, as a Category B rookie [Category B players are direct recruits rather than drafted, and are players from non-traditional backgrounds]. Madden attended the AFL Draft Combine in Europe where he set a new record for the 20 meter sprint (approx. 22 yards), running the distance in 2.69 seconds. He also traveled to Florida to train with the AFL Academy. Hailing form Dublin, Madden starred in both Gaelic football and hurling. Upon joining the Lions, Madden said, “A lot of Irish lads would love to get this opportunity. You’ve really got to cherish it. It’s a good challenge obviously, new experience, new country, new city." He has already visited the Gabba to meet his new teammates and tour the facilities. Lions list manager Dom Ambrogio visited Madden and his family in Dublin earlier this year. Former Lion Cian Hanley also played a part in the recruiting process. Brisbane's general manager David Noble said the club was impressed with Madden's speed, ball control, and decision making. Noble believes Madden will have no trouble learning the intricacies of his new game. Currently back in Ireland, Madden will rejoin the team in November for preseason training.

Bulldog premiership player Shane Biggs has retired after just 63 games. Biggs, 27, was originally drafted by Sydney as a rookie in 2012. He played six games for the Swans before crossing to the Bulldogs at the end of 2014. He slotted in as a running defender and played an important part in the Bulldogs' Grand Final win against his old side in 2016. Biggs is out of contract at the end of this year. He managed only five games in 2018 and just 21 since 2016. Biggs said in a statement, "I've been incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to play at the highest level for two great clubs. "I've made some great mates ... and some incredible memories which will stick with me forever. It has been a great experience, but it's time for me to explore other opportunities ... I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the journey, particularly my teammates and my coaches, and to the fans for their support."

Coach Luke Beveridge said Biggs had been a valued member of the team and expressed his gratitude for Biggs' hard work, adding, "He can be proud that he leaves the game as a premiership player, and for the impact he has had on everyone at the football club."

Port Adelaide forward Lindsay Thomas has announced his retirement. Thomas, 30, finishes on 212 games including seven for the Power after coming across from North Melbourne. He finishes his career with 329 goals and led North's goalkicking in 2010 and 2013. Originally from Port Lincoln in South Australia, Thomas was drafted by North Melbourne in 2006. He played 205 games and kicked 325 goals for North. He played in the 2013 International Rules Series. Despite having one more year on his contract with North at the end of 2017, he wanted to return home and North agreed to delist him. Port picked him up as a rookie at the end of last year. He managed just seven games and four goals in his short time with Port. He spent most of the season in the SANFL.

Thomas said the time was right to retire after Port Adelaide’s SANFL game against North Adelaide, ironically the same opponent and venue when he made his debut in 2006. He made the decision after speaking with his wife and management. Thomas thanked his family for their unwavering support across his career and the two clubs that hold a special place in his heart, “I thank North Melbourne who took a punt on me in 2006 and really embraced me and my family. I had an amazing eleven-year career there and I can’t thank them enough.And then to come home and finish my career here at Port Adelaide, where it all started, makes me feel very blessed."

Port Adelaide General Manager Chris Davies thanked Thomas for his contribution to the club during his short second stint, “We gave Lindsay the opportunity to continue his career because we knew the kind of person he was and the knowledge and experience he could pass on to our younger players. It is a credit to his professionalism and drive that he not only made his mark as a mentor, but fought his way into the AFL side and made an impact on the field... "

AFL umpires Troy Pannell and Justin Schmitt have announced that 2018 would be their final season. Justin Schmitt made his AFL debut in 1997, and has officiated in 363* matches, including 15 finals. He was an emergency for the 2016 Grand Final. Troy Pannell debuted in 2005 and has umpired 218* matches, including five finals. Over the past three seasons, he has also served as president of the AFL Umpires Association.

AFL Umpiring Head Coach Hayden Kennedy thanked Pannell and Schmitt on behalf of the senior list for their dedication to the game and also wished them luck for their future, “Troy and Justin worked extremely hard and dedicated a great deal of their time to the AFL Umpiring community and that is something we will always be grateful for. Their commitment to the game over the years is to be applauded and to have umpired nearly 600 games between them is a testament to their commitment. Both will be greatly missed among the umpires and we wish them and their families all the best for the next step in their lives.”

*through Round 23.

Sources: Josie Fielding, Alexandra Stewart, Carlton Media Release, Brisbane Media Release, Daniel Norton, Port Adelaide Media Release, Natalie Macgregor, Essendon Media Release, Matt Goodrope, Melbourne Media Release, Luke Morfesse, Fremantle Media Release,, Thomas Beverley, Gold Coast Media Release, Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release,,, AFL Record Season Guides


Article last changed on Wednesday, September 05, 2018 - 2:18 PM EDT

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