AFL hopes to work with Goodes

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says retired great Adam Goodes would be an ideal candidate to become the league’s first indigenous Commission member.


McLachlan said the AFL was looking forward to working with the Swans’ dual premiership winner, two-time Brownlow medallist and former Australian of the Year in some capacity whenever Goodes decided the time was right.

“Commission decisions are beyond my pay grade but there’s no doubt that Adam Goodes has the potential to be an outstanding candidate for a commissioner,” McLachlan said on Wednesday after announcing Sydney would host the AFL draft for the next two years.

“Adam is a legend of our game.

“He’s in the handful of most influential people in the history of the modern AFL.

“He knows about how the AFL feels about him. Our game’s been wonderful to him, but he’s more than given that back and been extraordinary for our game and … there’s many roles that are available to him any time he feels he wants to do that.

“He’s having a break from football. He’s been great for football and he’s been playing for a long time and we’ll pick up that conversation at some point.”

Goodes retired last year after a decorated career spanning 372 games.

But the final year of his career was marred by ugly booing from supporters, which Goodes and Sydney believed was racially motivated.

Worn down by the ongoing controversy, Goodes sat out the Swans’ round 18 game against Adelaide after the booing had reached a crescendo in the previous week’s loss to West Coast in Perth.

He returned to complete the season, but declined to participate in the annual parade of retiring players on grand final day.

The AFL was criticised for not addressing the issue more quickly and decisively at the time, although an official apology to Goodes was included in the annual report.

“There are private conversations and then there’s a public demonstration of that,” said McLachlan.

“The annual report records the history of 2015 and there was a lot done and we had a national conversation about race.

“But what I articulated was it was complicated and we were talking about a lot of things and there were moving pieces.

“But we were a week late and I want to put that on record and I think that’s appropriate.”