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Goddard made decision that was 'outside team structure': Watters

St Kilda coach Scott Watters.

St Kilda coach Scott Watters. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

St Kilda coach Scott Watters has lashed out at Brendon Goddard, accusing the star player of making big money his priority in joining Essendon.

The Saints had the chance to match the Bombers' offer — believed to be worth about $2.9 million over four years — but decided against doing so, which meant Goddard yesterday joined Essendon as a restricted free agent.

Brendon Goddard.

Brendon Goddard. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Saints coach Scott Watters last night dismissed as ''ludicrous'' speculation his club had offered the 205-game veteran $500,000 a season to stay at St Kilda, and was unequivocal about why Goddard left.

''The reason is about money. It's that simple. It is about remuneration. Really, there's nothing outside that,'' he told 3AW.

''That was the point that was explained to me by Brendon. That's what free agency is all about to a degree, that's the climate that we now live in.

''He had to make a decision based on what was a bigger offer.''

Watters said St Kilda's offer to Goddard — believed to be about $1.9 million over three years — was respectful to the player.

Watters continued his criticism of Goddard on radio today and said it was the player's decision to leave, not the Saints' reluctance to fight to keep him.

''Brendon made a decision that was outside our team-first structure. We fiercely want to protect our team-first mentality,'' Watters told SEN.

''I am personally disappointed he is not going to be a part of that but we do need to place the team first.

''Gone are the days where you can negotiate just to keep one marquee player at the expense of the rest of your list.

''Perhaps historically we have been a club that has gone down that path on occasions. But the club will always be bigger than any individual.''

Meanwhile, Essendon has refuted as "categorically false" comments made by former Bombers chairman Ray Horsburgh that he had told the club he would offer Goddard a job.

The Herald Sun reported today Horsburgh had offered the Bombers help in his role as chairman of transport company Toll. Under AFL rules, third-party deals cannot be offered to help clubs lure opposition players.

Essendon today said it had never "received or discussed any employment matter with Brendon other than his playing contract with the club".

"The suggestion that a third party or related party deal has been tabled to help secure Brendan is factually incorrect," it said in a statement.



  • As a Saints fan, I hope we can let him go graciously. I don't want to hear him get booed; that is childish and ridiculous. In today's environment, only the players are supposed to show loyalty. Clubs will cut a player or coach when it suits them. All those who criticise him for taking extra money, would you not take a better job offer if it came to you? And all those who have been bagging his form, have you played at AFL level?
    Watters is right to protect the team-first mentality, and I can't help thinking this move might be good for both Goddard and Saints.

    Uncanny S Man
    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 10:10AM
    • So nobody can comment unless they have played AFL level?

      You don't get it do you? He will get booed, don't worry about that. And by everyone, not just Saints fans. Playing AFL football is not like the corporate world where changing jobs is all part of furthering a career. Football is different. It's ALL about the team. If you start putting yourself first before the team, the everyone loses respect for you. Boo to Goddard (and probably Tippet).

      A. Beer
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 11:13AM
    • Well I won't be booing him, he has been a good player for StKilda but if he wants to leave good luck to him.
      I just home StKilda use his pick wisely.

      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 12:30PM
    • So hear we go free agency has just started.Players going to another club,and then they get nothing back from that club totally wrong.I agree with Roos + McGuire the weaker clubs are going to get weaker.At the moment P/Adelaide wow how many players can you louse at once.

      All the best to those bottom clubs things will only get worse.

      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 12:51PM
    • Lets move on at St Kilda Goddard has been a good player for us but most likely his best days are behind him and who is to say he will remain injury free for four years.

      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 12:59PM
    • You'd think so, A. Beer.

      But when Chris Judd left the team he was captain of when they were going through one of the roughest patches on and off the field they had ever experienced and really needed their leadership team to step up and yet the Melbourne media and football community couldn't stop patting themselves and Judd on the back for the move to Carlton.

      Carlton even made him captain immediately - after he left his team captaincy of West Coast - showing they never even considered that him leaving West Coast while he was captain of the club and the club was in desperate need of strong leadership.

      I've never heard a bad word said about the entire incident by anyone in the footy media or even from West Coast. I don't recall anyone except a few fanatical West Coast fans ever booing him either.

      So it's pretty clear that Carlton, the Melbourne footy media, the fans and the AFL in general, don't really care about the "team." They all understand it's a professional sport and players are in it for the pay packet. So are the teams and the AFL itself for that matter.

      SG Warren
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 1:00PM
    • I don't blame Goddard leaving to get a better deal elsewhere. But Essendon? They have an appalling club culture, flaky supporters, no recent success, and very little chance of snagging a flag during the remaining career of Goddard.

      Julius Seizure
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 1:31PM
    • I am not a Saints fan but I am in awe of the game he played in the drawn GF in 2010. Must be close to the greatest game to not win a Norm Smith medial.He did everything he could to will the Saints to victory And who can forget his tears after losing the replay. I hope that's how Saints fans will remember him.

      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 1:40PM
    • To Syd58, as to how many players you can 'louse' at once depends on how big the bath is.... but seriously,get used to it. There will be some tinkering, just like the AFL do with the game's rules, but FA is here to stay, was part of the players collective bargaining agreement with the AFL if I recall correctly. Players want it - just the 700 odd of them! It's not like Clubs were not aware of the its consequences. We'll start to see more 5 years deals / extensions with some performance milestones attached just prior to RFA applying to a player. Everyone will adapt.

      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 2:30PM
  • Seems Watters is living in a bit of a bubble.. Here in the real world.. if a rival company offered me more money, better location (essendon as opposed to seaford), better prospects (more of a chance to win a premiership).. pretty sure i'd jump ship too..

    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 10:12AM

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