Sick Goodwin sent home

Lui Zacher
September 1, 2022 / 9:14 pm

MELBOURNE has entered the AFL finals hopeful recent history will repeat itself but not in the manner that has forced sick coach Simon Goodwin into isolation for the second year running.

Goodwin fell ill a week out from last year’s grand final and was again kept away from players on Thursday after experiencing gastro-like symptoms.

Assistant coach Adem Yze was left to address players at a light training session at Gosch’s Paddock on the eve of Friday night’s qualifying final against Sydney at the MCG.

But the Demons expect Goodwin to receive medical clearance to take his place in the box as finals football returns to the famous venue for the first time in three years.

“Yesterday he wasn’t much chop, he said, but he’ll be fine for tomorrow,” Melbourne backline coach Troy Chaplin told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s an important day in terms of our last key messages but Yze will take the reins in that regard and look after it today.

“(Goodwin) will be back and ready to go tomorrow night.”

Goodwin had no issues at Melbourne’s main training session of the week on Tuesday but began experiencing symptoms during the team’s designated day off on Wednesday.

“We were fortunate that he hasn’t had any contact with anyone,” Chaplin said.

“We’re keeping him away from the group just to make sure that no players go down.”

Chaplin confirmed ruckman Luke Jackson (knee) and dashing defender Christian Salem (groin) will play against the Swans despite injury concerns.

He allayed fears over Christian Petracca, who has been battling soreness in recent weeks, declaring the star midfielder “100 per cent” fit.

Tom McDonald returned from a foot injury in the VFL last week but won’t be selected against Sydney.

The key forward will continue building his fitness in the hope of playing some role in the Demons’ premiership push.

(C) AAP 2022



Image: Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has signed a two-year contract extension. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)