MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: A victorious Nick Riewoldt of the Saints (L) and Brendon Goddard of the Bombers shake hands during the round 16 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on July 10, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Newly-retired AFL great Brendon Goddard has revealed his thoughts on the future of his former club Essendon and spoke of his memories during his time at St Kilda prior to his move to the Bombers.

Goddard, who forged his name at St Kilda before playing his final six seasons with the Bombers has hosed down the expectations on Essendon in 2019, believing the Bombers are at least a couple of years away from being serious competition.

Many experts believe that the recent signing of former Giant Dylan Shiel and the return of Joe Daniher could set the club up to match with the AFL’s best in the upcoming season.

There is plenty of hype around the club but Goddard has cautioned against expecting too much from the team that missed the finals in 2018.

“Yeah probably not this year, to be honest.” Goddard said on SEN when asked about if he was as high on the Bombers as most other experts.

“I think they’re in the bottom four in terms of age of list in the AFL. It’s just a matter of now playing together.

“If you look at the great teams of the past where they’ve had sustained success.. even the teams that have challenged for so long without the ultimate success, they’ve actually spent three, four, five years playing under the same coach and the same system before that actually starts to see results.

“Woosha’s only really had a clean slate and the group’s only really had a clean slate for two years now.”

Speaking on SEN, Goddard said the Bombers’ time would come.

“We all wish and hope it’ll be this year but I really see 2020, 2021, ’22, Essendon definitely has the list to really challenge and compete and now have sustained success – not only for three years but for the next five or six.” he said.

“Definitely in the next six to eight years I see Essendon being a pretty dominant footy team and club.”

Despite not quite being satisfied from his time in the game, Goddard has no regrets from his time at the Saints.

The 334-game veteran’s closest chance of premiership glory came with the Saints when his team fell just short in both the 2009 and 2010 grand finals.

Goddard’s massive hanger in the 2010 drawn grand final with Collingwood is an iconic moment from the nail-biting draw.

“Just talking about it (his 2010 hanger in the drawn grand final) I still get tingles,” he said.

“I always had that hope while playing of winning premierships… but now that’s all finished up, its not that I’m unfulfilled, but I’m just not quite satisfied.”

Despite the grand final heartache, Goddard said those St Kilda teams remained close and caught up each year to celebrate their achievements.

“The moments we shared as a group through that 2009, 2010 (period), we deem ourselves to be successful,” Goddard said.

“We still catch up now every year, prelim final week. It’s not the premiership team it’s the losing grand final team who still catch up because we still feel that we were very successful without actually winning the medal and the cup.”

Goddard said the memories of that period were the “most important things”, and while failing to grace the dais the Saints were closer because of those times.

“We used to talk about what it could’ve, or should’ve or would feel like being premiership teammates, but we’ve kind of come up with the conclusion that it kind of would’ve sealed the bond between us and just added a little cherry on top of what we already do have,” he said.

“We feel like we’ve missed out on a lot in the whole scheme of things because we’re not premiership players but at the same time, if it makes sense, we feel like we haven’t missed out on a lot because we still share that bond as if we are premiership teammates because of what we went through and the unique circumstances of playing in two grand finals in the space of two weeks and all that kind of stuff.

“I’m pretty satisfied with everything else, I don’t have any regrets.”


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