Goddard’s move to Essendon the right choice
It may not have been the easiest decision he has made in his life but Brendon Goddard made the right call to leave St Kilda to join Essendon for the 2013 season and beyond.
At the age of 27, Goddard would have been well and truly thinking about and planning his life after football; something he won’t need to worry about now until at least the end of the 2016 season.
And after four years of being paid between the rumoured figures of $675,000 and $725,000, there won’t be too much to worry about.
Sure, he will cop similar criticism to that of Tom Scully and Gary Ablett, but it will come from the mouths of those who would no doubt make the same decision if in his position.
It would be an unfair statement to say Goddard didn’t give his all to the St Kilda Football Club in his 205 matches since being drafted in 2002.
He leaves the club as a former leader of the Saints, a three-time grand finalist and two-time all Australian, which made him an elite player in the AFL.
And that list of honours may not have been added to if Goddard remained at the Saints, but it could be added to as a rejuvenated Essendon footballer.
It’s been clear since the 2010 Grand Final that Goddard has struggled to produce his best football, which is perhaps due to consecutive grand final losses, leaving Goddard and a number of his former teammates physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
There is no debating Goddard is one of, if not the best, utility in the competition, and you just need to watch the 2010 grand final to be reminded of that.
But the 27-year-old was looking flat at the Saints; easily frustrated and uninterested at times.
It’s something that a new club may be able to fix; as they say, a change is as good as a holiday.
Either way Goddard had nothing to lose by changing clubs – except perhaps the respect of some – but he has plenty to gain.
Will Goddard regret his decision in the coming years? Will he become the second Essendon player to win the Brownlow Medal in as many years? Will he be Essendon’s saviour?
Time will tell.