The mid-week review: Semi Finals

What got us talking: Goodbye Goodes

In the week leading up to a preliminary final, you usually expect the news to be dominated with talk of the final four teams.

Is a Hawthorn three-peat actually possible? Could North Melbourne be the first team from eighth place to make it to the final game of the year? Or will a Western Australian derby be the talk of the town?

But the events proceeding North’s win over the Swans last Saturday night is what captured the footy world’s attention, as Sydney legend Adam Goodes told his teammates in the rooms after the match he would be retiring from AFL.

Now this is not going to be another article on the excessive and uncalled for booing Goodes encountered throughout the entire 2015 season. Any more scrutiny towards those doing the booing will only fuel these people’s need for attention. Instead, it is about time Goodes received the respect he deserves.

Adam Goodes leaves the game with an impressive rap sheet. He’s a:

  • Two-time Brownlow Medallist (2003, 2006)
  • Two-time premiership player (2005, 2012)
  • Four-time All-Australian (2003, 2006, 2009, 2011)
  • AFL Coaches Association player of the year (2006)
  • Sydney captain from 2009-2012
  • Three-time club best and fairest (2003, 2006, 2011)
  • Member of the Indigenous team of the century

Goodes has been a great part of the game for the last 17 years and fellow Swans’ retiree, Rhyce Shaw, was not short of admiration for his teammate. “He’s a champion and one of the greatest people I’ve ever met,” Shaw said. “He’s contributed so much to the footy club and to the AFL.”

Goodes chose not to be chaired off at the end of match and has not yet spoken to the media about his retirement.

In the past, some have criticised Goodes for his ‘attention-seeking’ mannerisms although he has proved to be anything but an attention-seeker.

His coach John Longmire ultimately was not surprised by Goodes’ decision. “He has kept it to himself because it has never been about Adam,” Longmire said. “It was about our season and being competitive.”

“It is hard to get that group of players and staff together so it was a simple decision to do it in the rooms.”

There is discussion Goodes also won’t take part in the retiree procession on grand final day. The way members of the people have conducted themselves this year certainly has played a part in that decision. It really is sad that one of the greats of the game will not be acknowledged for all he is done.

So as a football community, it is important we try and make some changes in the way we view the 2014 Australian of the Year. Think of all Goodes has done for the sport and the community. He is a talented footballer and an influential and intelligent person.

So like any retiring great, let’s focus on Goodes’ triumphs in his final moments in the sport. He, like any other AFL player, deserves to have a positive lasting legacy in the game.

What we learnt from the semi finals

– Dangerfield’s last game as a Crow

When Adelaide bowed out of the 2015 season against the Hawks, it was the last time we saw Patrick Dangerfield in Crows’ colours. He’s been a remarkable player for the club but Dangerfield will be coming home to Victoria in the coming weeks.

– Hawthorn just doesn’t play two bad games in a row

Proving why they’ve won the last two premierships, the Hawks bounced back from an atrocious display in their qualifying final. They destroyed the lacklustre Crows and had the game won from the first quarter.

– North are going to a prelim… for a second year in a row.

The Kangaroos probably don’t get the credit they deserve: making two consecutive preliminary finals is no mean feat. But can they take the next step this week?

What we can expect from the preliminary finals

– Western Australian delight

The 2015 finals series is making its way to Domain Stadium for the second time in three weeks. The WA crowd will be anything but nice to the visiting Hawks and Roos: their hostility could prove to be the difference in these close matches.

– Hawthorn will make it to a third grand final against the fresh Eagles

The two highest scoring sides of the comp will be too strong for their opponents this week. The Hawks were able to work into some form against the Crows while the strong Eagles, who demolished the reigning premiers two weeks ago, will only improve after a host of stars return.

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