Former #9 Brendon James Goddard

Should be an assistant coach.

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Just heard on the radio that BJ has been chasing the little ball around the sandbelt. Now plays off +4.
The guiy was a good golfer, now he is a seriously good golfer.


Scratch that.


Wow. That’s one better than Alice Cooper.

Goddard back chasing his dreams

Brendan Goddard made his name as a brilliant AFL player with two clubs; a year into his retirement from that pursuit, his obsession with golf is only growing.

Goddard, the former St Kilda and Essendon player, is taking it a step further in the next week. He has entered himself in the Port Phillip Open Amateur at Kingston Heath and Commonwealth starting on 14 November, which is the launching pad for the Victorian Amateur the following week, and a field that will be chock full of the nation’s best amateur players competing over four rounds. The top 32 progress to the matchplay and play for the Victorian Amateur title.

But he’s not there as a ceremonial player or to draw publicity for the event.

Goddard, who plays at Metropolitan in Melbourne, has an official +2 handicap, has played pennant for his club, and says he feels ready to take another small step in his development as a golfer aged 34.

“I know that my best is good enough,” he told Golf Australia today. “At least to qualify.”

Coached by Stuart Leong, Goddard has been a single figure player and golf tragic for years, all through his 334-game career and St Kilda and Essendon. Retirement at the end of 2018 has given him time to pursue his other love, with immediately results.

He has been a single figure handicapper for years (and an avid collector of Scotty Cameron putter covers, among other quirks). But he has been guided along the path by his close friends and professionals, Geoff Ogilvy and Marcus Fraser, for whom he caddied at a US Open.

He has a weekly game with Ogilvy and often plays with Fraser. At Peninsula Kingswood, where Ogilvy has joined since he returned from America to live in Melbourne, he’s played off plus four. He recalls one match against Ogilvy recently where the 2006 US Open champion had just had his membership papers cleared and his handicap made official.

“We printed out a card for him (Ogilvy) and went to the first tee, talked about what we were playing for, and he said: ‘This is good. You’ve got to give me two shots!’. You can imagine my response!”

More recently Ogilvy and Goddard played off the stick and Goddard has at least one victory notch in his belt. “Geoff (might have been) playing terribly. He’d hardly played in a month and a half. I’ll still take the victory, though, don’t worry.”

Fraser, also ensconced back in Melbourne after 15 years in Europe, has to give him a couple of shots in their private games. Fraser, Ogilvy and Goddard are all playing together this weekend, as well, in the Australasian PGA Tour’s Gippsland Super Six at Yallourn.

There’s a method to Goddard’s theories. "I figured out a long time ago that the quickest way to get better is to play with people who are better than you,” he said. “It’s mainly their short game. You have days when you flush it and everything goes well, but even those guys can struggle day-to-day tee-to-green but what’s consistent is their short game.

“It allows them to shoot 70 or 71 when they hit it like they should have had 76. That’s a huge difference which I noticed years ago when I started playing with good players.”

Football is off his radar, and not by accident. “It’s a conscious decision,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle choice to be honest. It’s about myself and the kids (Billie 3 and McKenzie 2) and my wife (Rosie). I had some discussions with people (in football) but I’m not that interested. I did a a coaching course, enjoyed it, but for me it’s about getting away and exhaling after 16 or 17 years. If I go down that path, I want to set myself up to be a senior coach. I want a long-term plan. I didn’t want to start the process because then I wouldn’t have anything other that footy. And I know what footy’s like."

Golf has filled the void, along with the family and the personal training business that he and his wife run, as well as some media work. Recently Goddard was involved in the commentary team at several Australasian PGA Tour events. At one point, he harboured a desire to turn professional; nowadays, he says, “I know my limitations”.

For Goddard, all this is about testing his limits. “I always wanted to play more competitive golf, but footy always got in the way. But now I enjoy it and I’ve got better now that I’ve got more time to play and practise. It’s about the competition. It scratches the itch.”

Click here for more information about the Port Phillip Open Amateur.


Good onya Beej

BJ wrote an article in todays Sun, rating all the midfields. EFC came out 9th. I noted a hint that he might have based it on the supercoach ratings of the midfielders, maybe rather than having watched all the teams in every match.

Wondering if someone with HS access could post the article? I’m interested in his assessment.

Brendon Goddard ranks every AFL midfield from 1-18, with GWS Giants and West Coast ahead of Collingwood

Brendon Goddard , Herald Sun

November 12, 2019 8:08am

Subscriber only

The engine room is the heartbeat of any good team and there is no AFL midfield better than Greater Western Sydney’s.

How many teams could reach an AFL Grand Final without their inspiration captain and with a player as classy as Stephen Coniglio sidelined?


As lethal as West Coast will be with Tim Kelly and as dominant as Collingwood is around the ball, the Giants boast the best midfield mix in the AFL, according to Brendon Goddard.

Although the Dockers have Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe headlining their on-ballers, Goddard has doubts about Fremantle’s midfield under new coach Justin Longmuir.

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Player, 2019 Games, 2019 SuperCoach average

Josh Kelly (18, 114), Lachie Whitfield (19, 107), Tim Taranto (26, 103), Stephen Coniglio (15, 101), Jacob Hopper (23, 96), Harry Perryman (19, 78), Matt De Boer (19, 72), Callan Ward (1, 4)


Jackson Hately (7, 62), Jye Caldwell (2, 50), Jack Buckley (0, 0), Xavier O’Halloran (0, 0), Nick Shipley (0, 0)

Goddard says: The Giants’ depth of A-Grade talent is simply outrageous and they were ranked No. 1 for clearances last season despite not having a dominant ruckman. The return of co-captain Ward from an ACL injury only further bolsters the midfield stocks, while Kelly could well take another step forward into the very top echelon of midfielders in the competition with a full pre-season under his belt.



Andrew Gaff (22, 107), Elliot Yeo (23, 106), Tim Kelly (25, 104), Luke Shuey (24, 101), Dom Sheed (24, 93), Jack Redden (23, 91), Mark Hutchings (18, 48)


Xavier O’Neill (0, 0), Hamish Brayshaw (0, 0), Brayden Ainsworth (0, 0)

Goddard says: The addition of Kelly from Geelong during the trade period gives the Eagles four genuine top-line stars. Kelly ranked as the 11th best clearance player in the competition last season, Gaff is arguably the best wingman in the game, Yeo is a legitimate run-with player and Shuey is the Eagles’ reigning best-and-fairest. Then there is Redden and Sheed, who are not a bad second-string at all. If everyone is fit and healthy, who starts in the centre bounce in Round 1?



Adam Treloar (24, 111), Scott Pendlebury (24, 105), Steele Sidebottom (23, 96), Taylor Adams (12, 96), Tom Phillips (24, 83), Dayne Beams (9, 81), Chris Mayne (21, 75)


Rupert Wills (9, 71), Josh Daicos (5, 53), Brayden Sier (6, 50), Tyler Brown (0, 0), Tim Broomhead (0, 0)

Goddard says: An impressive array of A-Grade talent which will only be improved if Beams can get himself right and play a full season. The ever-consistent performers of Pendlebury, Treloar, Adams and Sidebottom are nicely complemented by the likes of Phillips on the outside, who is a top-five wingman in the competition. Having the best ruckman in the competition in Brodie Grundy giving the Magpies’ midfielders first use also helps.



Dion Prestia (25, 103), Dustin Martin (23, 102), Marlion Pickett (1, 97), Trent Cotchin (14, 77), Jack Graham (16, 73), Kamdyn McIntosh (16, 63)


Jack Ross (7, 63), Patrick Naish (2, 73), Oleg Markov (2, 49), Riley Collier-Dawkins (0, 0), Fraser Turner (0, 0)

Goddard says: The reigning premiership midfield and a group that is consistent, reliable and flexible. Reigning best-and-fairest Prestia is coming off a breakout year while Martin continued his dominance in the finals series. Pickett showed in the Grand Final what sort of player he could be in 2020 with a full pre-season under his belt, while the Tigers would dearly love captain Cotchin to have a better run at it after an injury-interrupted 2019 season.



Lachie Neale (24, 119), Dayne Zorko (24, 107), Jarryd Lyons (24, 101), Mitch Robinson (23, 94), Hugh McCluggage (23, 94), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (10, 93), Jarrod Berry (20, 86)


Rhys Mathieson (9, 60), Mitchell Hinge (2, 64), Jacob Allison (2, 46), Callum Ah Chee (1, 82), Tom Joyce (0, 0), Ely Smith (0, 0) , Toby Wooller (0, 0)

Goddard says: Hard to knock a midfield group that ranked second in the competition for clearances last season. The Lions have a good mix of inside ball winners through Neale, Lyons, Berry and now Adelaide recruit Ellis-Yolmen. Zorko has leg speed, Robinson is not slow on one wing and McCluggage provides some serious class on the other wing. Might lack the out-and-out stars of some other teams but have certainly got the balance right.



Patrick Dangerfield (24, 115), Mitch Duncan (23, 101), Joel Selwood (23, 89), Sam Menegola (12, 82), Brandan Parfitt (20, 79), Cameron Guthrie (20, 79), Jack Steven (7, 74), Jordan Clark (18, 61)


Charlie Constable (7, 81), Quinton Narkle (6, 80), James Parsons (4, 65), Lachie Fogarty (2, 50), Jacob Kennedy (0, 0), Sam Simpson (0, 0)

Goddard says: Would have been higher in the rankings had they not lost All-Australian Tim Kelly to West Coast during the trade period. The lack of a consistent dominant ruckman at the Cats also hurts the midfield group. While Selwood is ageing, Dangerfield and Duncan are still in their prime and they have a number of solid support acts in Menegola, Guthrie and Parfitt. There is a question mark over what St Kilda recruit Steven can produce, but at his best he could be something special for the Cats and add a great dynamic.



Jack Macrae (23, 122), Josh Dunkley (23, 116), Marcus Bontempelli (23, 113), Lachie Hunter (23, 95), Mitch Wallis (10, 84), Tom Liberatore (15, 82), Patrick Lipinski (14, 81), Bailey Smith (23, 76)


Will Hayes (9, 55), Roarke Smith (5, 53), Lin Jong (0, 0), Callum Porter (0, 0)

Goddard says: Based on Champion Data ranking points, Macrae, Dunkley and Bontempelli were three of the top eight midfielders in the AFL in 2019. The trio are all stars. However, it should be noted the Bulldogs still ranked 12th for total clearances, some of which could be put down to playing a developing young ruckman in Tim English. The return of Tom Liberatore from injury should help those numbers, while Bailey Smith is an exciting young talent.



Clayton Oliver (22, 109), James Harmes (22, 94), Ed Langdon (22, 86), Angus Brayshaw (22, 84), Jack Viney (21, 81), Adam Tomlinson (25, 69)


Oskar Baker (9, 48), Kyle Dunkley (5, 48), Kade Kolodjashnij (2, 40), James Jordon (0, 0), Aaron Nietschke (0, 0)

Goddard says: Yes, the Demons had a season from hell in 2019. However, the midfield wasn’t to blame too much as Melbourne ranked eighth for clearances and fifth for inside-50s. A full pre-season for Viney will help and Brayshaw is more than capable of returning to his 2018 form which saw him finish third in the Brownlow Medal. Langdon from Fremantle and Tomlinson from Greater Western Sydney will slot in nicely on either wing and add some much-needed outside run after being picked up during the trade period. I would also like to see Christian Petracca run through the midfield a bit more to add to the rotation. The Demons need to challenge him to take his fitness to the next level so he can.



Zach Merrett (23, 105), Dylan Shiel (22, 98), Dyson Heppell (18, 95), Darcy Parish (21, 85), David Zaharakis (20, 79), Andrew McGrath ( 23, 75), Devon Smith (7, 69), Matt Guelfi (17, 56)

The Top-Ups

Tom Cutler (3, 78), Dylan Clarke (11, 65), Kobe Mutch (1, 0)

Goddard says: The Bombers are still lacking one inside ball winner – something that was not addressed during the trade period – but they have most other stations covered. Heppell is an ever-consistent performer and Merrett has serious all-round class. The return of 2018 best-and-fairest Devon Smith will certainly help, Parish’s development has been pleasing and McGrath and Zahararkis provide the run on the outside. Zaharakis just needs to continue to work on his stoppage craft.



James Worpel (22, 97), Ricky Henderson (22, 95), Jaeger O’Meara (21, 91), Liam Shiels (19, 87), Isaac Smith (19, 83), Tom Scully (21, 66), Tom Mitchell (0, 0)


Daniel Howe (12, 74), James Cousins (12, 70), Harry Morrison (9, 53), Will Golds (0, 0), Harrison Jones (0, 0)

Goddard says: The Hawks onball brigade should be much-improved in 2020 with the return of Brownlow medallist Mitchell from a broken leg which saw him miss the entire season. Worpel’s development across the 2019 season was incredible, leading to a deserving best-and-fairest win. Tom Scully would be hoping to get a full pre-season in and build on his form of last season, while Ricky Henderson is coming off a career-best season at the ripe old age of 31. There is talent there, but I think the Hawks are just lacking one or two top-end inside players.



Travis Boak (21, 107), Tom Rockliff (18, 92), Ollie Wines (12, 88), Karl Amon (17, 77), Sam Powell-Pepper (19, 74), Xavier Duursma (20, 74)


Willem Drew (10, 73), Joe Atley (1, 74), Sam Mayes (0, 0), Jake Patmore (0, 0)

Goddard says: Could be considered a tad stiff to be ranked 11th, given the Power were third for total clearances and first for inside-50s last season. But they are lacking depth and top-end talent. Boak is coming off an outstanding year and I’m excited to see how Duursma continues to develop. Connor Rozee might also find himself playing more midfield time next year, as well as Dan Houston. A pre-season and injury-free run for Wines would be a major boost after a difficult 2019.



Ben Cunnington (22, 102), Shaun Higgins (17, 94), Jack Ziebell (22, 91), Jared Polec (22, 87), Jed Anderson (17, 87), Trent Dumont (21, 84), Jy Simpkin (21, 70), Luke Davies-Uniacke (14, 63), Ben Jacobs (0, 0)


Aaron Hall (6, 76), Dom Tyson (3, 75), Kyron Hayden (1, 31)

Goddard says: The Kangaroos have a good core, with an ever-reliable top-three in Cunnington, Higgins and Ziebell. There is also plenty of upside with the improvement left in Anderson, Simpkin and Dumont and the potential return of one of the best taggers in the game in Jacobs, who has not played since Round 16, 2018. Based on the improvement in the second half of last season, North Melbourne could well exceed this ranking.



Seb Ross (22, 98), Dan Hannebery (5, 96), Jack Steele (20, 95), Jack Billings (22, 94), Luke Dunstan (18, 93), Zak Jones (17, 86), Bradley Hill (22, 84), Jade Gresham (19, 84)


Ed Phillips (4, 63), Doulton Langlands (3, 53), Jack Bytel (0, 0)

Goddard says: The Saints have a capable midfield, but it’s one that simply doesn’t have the A-Grade talent of other sides. In saying that, I wouldn’t be surprised if Billings or Gresham moved themselves up into that bracket next year. St Kilda will be hoping for much more out Hannebery after a disappointing, injury-interrupted year. Steele and Ross are ever consistent with their form and I like the recruitment of Hill from Fremantle, who adds some much-needed outside speed.



Patrick Cripps (20, 117), Ed Curnow (22, 91), Marc Murphy (19, 91), Sam Walsh (22, 87), Jack Newnes (20, 71), Zac Fisher (21, 66), Will Setterfield (18, 61), Paddy Dow (19, 54), Lachie O’Brien (17, 45)

Goddard says: Cripps is the cream and a star of the competition. Walsh is a soon-to-be A-Grader on the back of winning the Rising Star award last season. But it drops away a bit after that. Murphy and Curnow are coming off great seasons and have been super reliable for many years but enter next season the other side of 30. Can they produce the same sort of campaigns again next year? Newnes comes in from St Kilda and should be a regular but is only rated average in every key statistical area. It is a waiting game over the development of Setterfield and Dow. It’s their time to step up and shine. The Blues have made no secret of the fact they think they lack another A-Grade midfielder over the past two years.



Matt Crouch (19, 104), Rory Sloane (22, 103), Brad Crouch (22, 98), Rory Atkins (20, 75), Paul Seedsman (13, 72), Bryce Gibbs (12, 69), David Mackay (18, 67)


Patrick Wilson (1, 50), Ned McHenry (0, 0)

Goddard says: There is a real sameness about the Crows’ midfield. It lacks flexibility, with most of the players in there all like-for-like. Sloane is a competitor but doesn’t possess dynamic speed. Gibbs was dropped four times last season and is much the same player as Matt Crouch. There is simply not the depth of talent and not the leg-speed of other teams. Adelaide has to find someone to step up. Defenders Wayne Milera and Brodie Smith had rotations in the midfield at stages last season to try and find speed and penetration of ball use. Could one of them make a permanent midfield move?



Josh Kennedy (19, 107), Luke Parker (22, 105), Isaac Heeney (22, 94), George Hewett (22, 88), Oliver Florent (21, 69), Ryan Clarke (14, 57)


Lewis Taylor (5, 71), Justin McInerney (1, 21), Zac Foot (0, 0)

Goddard says: Kieran Jack is gone. Kennedy is ageing and will turn 32 in June. Who is going to step up and replace them? Is Heeney going to be the inside all-round elite midfielder we all hoped he would be? Parker will continue doing what he’s done for six or seven years. The Swans’ outside class is pretty good in young Florent and I expect Callum Mills and Will Hayward to join him and play more midfield minutes next season. There are clearly spots up for grabs.



Nat Fyfe (20, 120), Michael Walters (22, 101), David Mundy (22, 88), Darcy Tucker (22, 73), Blake Acres (19, 71), Andrew Brayshaw (22, 71), Reece Conca (22, 68)


Stefan Giro (0, 0), Luke Valente (0, 0)

Goddard says: Reigning Brownlow medallist Fyfe is the standout along with Walters who is also a star of the competition. But after that the Dockers are still relying on Mundy too much and it drops right away after that. Brayshaw was taken at pick 2 in the 2017 draft and needs to step up and have a breakout year in 2020.



David Swallow (22, 88), Brayden Fiorini (21, 88), Hugh Greenwood (14, 86), Touk Miller (18, 85), Anthony Miles (17, 84), Brandon Ellis (23, 82), Darcy MacPherson (22, 82), Jack Bowes (15, 76)


Wil Powell (13, 55), Sam Fletcher (0, 0), Mitch Riordan (0, 0)

Goddard says: Swallow remains the standout and there a couple of ever-reliable competitors in Miles and Miller. The additions of Ellis (Richmond) and Greenwood (Adelaide) will certainly make the Suns’ midfield better year-on-year, while the development of Bowes is also exciting. But there is still just a clear void of A-Grade talent. Could highly-rated youngster Izak Rankine return from injury and be added to the midfield mix in 2020 to help fill that void?

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BJ does not even mention Langford as a mid. He is one of the few players to have significantly improved in 2019, now firmly inside the best 22. I guess BJ has not included Mid/Forward types, however, thats what Dev Smith is classified as. Go figure.

Yeah but Dev is good at it.

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Guelfi… top liner… lid off.


Pic of Langford and new Irish recruit in the gym shows Langford looking pretty strong

If Langford is in our best 22, then we will not make the top 8.


We are ninth in JB’s estimation, that’s about right then, middle of the road.

No great expectations for 2020 and the first six home and away games will show whether there is any change.

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No offence to BJ, but I give as much of a fk about his opinion on football as I do any other media flog.

Sweet FA.

The feeling is probably mutual.


BJ has now written 3 articles in the sun on successive days, yesterday he rated defences, today, forwards at each club.
He seems to rate us at 8 or 9 in eachcase. Thats about right.

Jeez. If we are in the window, we need some serious improvement to even win a final, let alone get a double chance!


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