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No need to lose the boos, says Goodes

James Dampney  September 17, 2014 11:03 AM

Goodes decision, Wacky Cats and more Wednesday's Footy Feed with Matt Thompson
Sometimes it's a mark of respect, that the opposition fans don't want you to play well, and every time you get the football
ADAM Goodes insists he is unperturbed by the incessant booing he cops from opposition crowds during games, choosing to view it as a mark of respect.

Goodes, who will play his 350th match in Friday night's preliminary final against North Melbourne, has often been the target of opposition fans over his long career with the Sydney Swans.

But it appears to have reached new heights in 2014 for the two-time Brownlow medallist.

That has led to speculation it could be racially based, or at least stem from his stance last year when he pointed out a young female Collingwood fan who had called him an 'ape'.

That stance, along with his ongoing campaign against racism, was part of what led to Goodes being named the 2014 Australian of the Year.

Many of the game's greats have also been the subject of constant booing during games, something Wayne Carey, James Hird and Nick Riewoldt have dealt with in their careers.

Goodes is choosing to believe that is the motivation behind the crowd reaction.

"It hasn't been difficult," he told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the booing. "It's not something that I'm not used to.

"There's been many a time being booed at football grounds.

"Sometimes it's a mark of respect, that the opposition fans don't want you to play well, and every time you get the football.

"It doesn't bother me to be honest.

"It's one of those things where if I pay too much attention to what the crowd's doing, then I'm not really playing my role on the field.

"We're just worried about getting out there and winning games, wherever they are, and since I've been back this year we've only lost two games.

"It's been a pretty good streak for us as a football club, but me individually as well."

After a 10-month layoff with a chronic knee issue, Goodes has strung together 18 games to move within one appearance of becoming just the 14th player to reach the 350-game mark.

The 34-year-old labelled his career "a bit of a blur", adding that milestone games are only memorable if the Swans win.

Goodes' 300th game was a semi-final defeat to Hawthorn back in 2011.

He much prefers to recall game No.304, when he surpassed great friend Michael O'Loughlin as the Swans' games record-holder in a victory over the Hawks in Tasmania in 2012.

While he is unable to take over games like he did in his youth, Goodes has still played an important role this season as a dangerous forward, kicking multiple goals on eight occasions and 25 for the year.

Off-contract next month, Goodes says he is yet to decide whether he will continue in 2015.

"All those thoughts and decisions will be made post-season for me," he said.

"I'm just really excited about this weekend and playing a home prelim.

"The enthusiasm is still there, the desire is still there to suit up and play at this level, and I still think I've got a lot to offer at this level as well.

"What happens in the next couple of weeks will play itself out and, as I keep saying, it's just a really exciting week for the football club and me personally."

Goodes said the Swans had always prepared to face the Kangaroos at their best, and the inclusion of Brent Harvey would ensure that was the case.

Harvey was able to get a one-game suspension overturned by the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.

Goodes said he had struck a good balance between his on and off-field duties.

There has been speculation Goodes could make a move into politics when his playing career finishes and he was asked about the Australian Constitution and indigenous seats in parliament on Wednesday.

"Oh look, I'm not a politician," he said, bursting out into a huge grin.

"I'm playing my 350th this week, I'm preparing for a preliminary final; I appreciate the question, but I've got to go and train."

Adam Goodes' stellar career
Draft history: 1997 AFL Draft third round selection, No.43 overall.
Games: 349 (most in South Melbourne/Sydney Swans history, 14th in AFL/VFL history)
Goals: 434

Achievements
Premierships: 2 (2005, 2012)
Brownlow medals: 2 (2003 equal, 2006)
Career Brownlow votes: 162
All Australian: 4 (2003, 2006, 2009, 2011)
Best and fairest: 3 (2003, 2006, 2011)
Swans' leading goalkicker: 2009-2011
AFLCA Player of the year: 2006 (equal)
AFL Rising Star: 1999
Indigenous Team of the Century
Swans' co-captain 2009-2012

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