'I felt very loved over the weekend': Goodes to return to AFL action


Adam Goodes will return to AFL action on Saturday night against Geelong.

Having felt the love from his teammates and the wider AFL community, rejuvenated Sydney superstar Adam Goodes will return to action against Geelong on Saturday night.

The dual Brownlow medallist took a week away from the game and missed the Swans' last-start victory over Adelaide, acknowledging he had been in no fit state to play after being demoralised by the relentless booing from opposing fans.

It prompted a nationwide discussion about the booing, which Goodes and others believed had a racial element.

"The last week there has been a lot of discussion - a lot of it I haven't read, but I've obviously been involved in it before," Goodes told the Swans' website before returning to training on Tuesday.

"Those discussions needed to be had and I'm really hopeful that those discussions are behind us now and that we can all move on.

"... For me it's about going out there and playing football.

"Whether it's my last year or not I really want to go out and enjoy the last five games of the season and then another finals campaign and see what happens.

"I really want to focus on my football and really enjoy that side of it again."

Goodes said he was humbled by the support he had received across the AFL.

"Our supporters here at the Swans were absolutely amazing on the weekend and it would have been nice to be at the SCG to experience it," he said.

"Speaking to a few of the players, they just said that atmosphere out there was incredible and to script Lewis Jetta kicked the first goal which set the night off for us as a team.

"... it was a very humbling experience to see the different things our football club did, that other football clubs and the AFL did and other players took upon themselves to show their support.

"I felt very loved over the weekend."

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said he was confident Goodes would receive a good reception at form Geelong fans at Simonds Stadium on Saturday night.

"I'm looking forward to the people of Geelong, the supporters of Geelong and the Sydney supporters wrapping their arms around him," McLachlan said on Tuesday.

"That's been an emphatic statement over the last week.

"From where we were a week ago to where we are now, and the way our industry has been able to navigate this ... I'm really optimistic about the way Adam is going to be received."

While the league is rapt about the support for Goodes, there is growing criticism of how the AFL hierarchy has handled the controversy.

A week ago, McLachlan was initially cautious when asked if racism was involved.

And AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick only released a statement about Goodes on Monday night.

Fitzpatrick's comments followed a media report that the commission had divided opinions on the issue.

He and McLachlan are insistent that Goodes has unanimous support from the commission.

"We have a unified commission," McLachlan said.

"In an issue like this, you're going to have lots of different views.

"All I can talk to is that over the course of the week, when we've taken a whole series of different views and diverse perspective, we sit here as an industry united.

"(We are) clear about the messaging, clear about our view on this issue."

Source AAP

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