With one of the most recognisable surnames in Australian football, Jake Goodes may be known by many as simply the brother of a Brownlow medalist, but the recently retired footballer will be remembered as much more in Stawell.
The 36-year-old called it quits on 23 years of football last weekend, playing his final match in his beloved teal, white and black guernsey of Swifts.
Goodes jumped from club-to-club around the region before finally settling with the Baggies in 2005.
“I had just moved to Stawell so for me at the start it was good to make friends being new to the town,” Goodes said.
“Tim Chatfield was a coach there were a few other aboriginal boys who made it easy to settle in to the club. It was and still is a family oriented place which suited me perfectly.”
Goodes has gone on to play nearly 200 games for Swifts, achieving big things both on and off the field.
In his time at the Baggies, the club has championed the promotion of an annual indigenous round to celebrate indigenous history and culture. “To be part of something like that meant a lot to me,” he said.
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“The club and whole Horsham league have been fantastic with their stance. Not once have I been racially abused while playing in the Horsham league.”
Despite plenty of memorable moments, Goodes said one match stands out above all.
“The 2014 premiership win over Laharum was by far the best thing to have happened to me in my football career,” he said.
“When I started at the club it was footy was more of a social thing but we kept improving and managed to climb all the way to the top.
“2014 was the same year my first child Maya was born so it was just an amazing time of my life.”
With two-thirds of the Horsham league season still to play, Goodes said he will stay involved with the Baggies but there is another focus he will have.
“My focus in the immediate future is on my family. My wife has put in a lot every weekend while I go out chasing a leather ball around so I will give her a chop out. I can’t wait to spend more time with her and my kids.
“I will miss the comradery and being part of a team. Seeing the boys gear up on Saturday will probably break my heart but it is the right time to give it up.
“The Swifts have been amazing allowing me to play at their club for the last 15 years and I thank them so much. I love the club and will make sure I am still part of it."