Essendon veteran Brendon Goddard says despite committing to a one-year deal late last year, he isn’t looking beyond 2018 as he heads into his 16th AFL season.
The 32-year-old says retirement isn’t on his mind at the moment and says one-year deals more often than not become the norm when you hit the wrong side of 30.
“We’re all painted with the same brush when we turn 30,” Goddard said on Wednesday.
“Thinking you’re on one-year deals now and you’ve got less security than what you had for 10 to 12 years takes a little bit to get over, and (you have to) put your ego aside.
“But I’ve well and truly done that now.
“It is what it is, you move on and prepare for the season like I would any other season, and if I get a choice of going out on my own terms … we all dream of doing that, but at the end of the day you do what’s best for the team.”
Goddard’s role has chopped and change a little over the last few years in the red and black but said this season would be much like 2017, featuring mainly in defence with runs through the middle.
Essendon’s off-season recruiting will mean Goddard won’t be required as often in the engine room, with Adam Saad, Devon Smith and Jake Stringer adding a certain amount of hype and expectation on the boys from Tullamarine this season.
“It’s easy to wander in that direction, don’t get me wrong, but it is about accepting the noise outside and bringing back the group to what’s important and what we want to improve,” Goddard said.
“We keep bringing it back to our values and trademarks and it’s easier to keep things in check and keep guys reined in from venturing off too far.”
Essendon ran through an AFLX trial on Wednesday with Smith and Saad, in particular, impressing.
Goddard, who won’t partake in the newest form of the game, said he’s keen to see how the game plays out.
“It’s very much a kick-mark game,” Goddard said.
“So teams that are able to maintain possession of the footy will benefit most, but in saying that there might be different concepts and tactics brought in by different teams.
“It will be interesting to see where teams go with it, but it’s a highly skilled game. Guys that can hit targets and move it pretty quick benefit the most.”