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2017 Hall of Fame: How Crow Simon Goodwin banished the doubt

Hall of Fame: Simon Goodwin Adelaide wingman beat self-doubt to become a star

SIMON Goodwin's football CV is magnificent.

A hard running and creative wingman, who played in two premiership sides for Adelaide and a couple more sides that should have. Three best and fairests and five All-Australian selections help complete what was a marvellous career.

Yet what drove Goodwin throughout his 14 seasons at AFL level was this nagging self-doubt. Was he really good enough to play at the level?

As he explained to the AFL Record ahead of his induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, he was small for his age throughout his childhood. He was forever being placed into what he called the 'never going to make it basket'.

"I wasn't self-conscious and perhaps I lacked self-confidence, but with that came perseverance to prove people wrong and that's what drove me early in my career," he said.

"I wasn't sure I was deserving to be at the level and I always had a point to prove. And it continued along that way for most of my career."

Not even two flags before his 21st birthday could eradicate the self-doubts, nor could his first All-Australian selection in 2000.

"Perception-wise it probably did, but I used it to spur me on to even greater heights," he said.

"You want to be a better player and then a better player again. When I got into my first All-Australian side, it was a case of 'Simon who' and that was another point to prove.

"I was a shock selection and people said I didn't deserve to be in that category, so there was this sense of wanting to prove myself, all through my career."

Cricket's loss was football's gain with Goodwin. He co-captained the South Australian under-19 cricket team in the summer of 1995-96 (sharing the role with Chris Davies, now Port Adelaide's head of football) and was preparing to make the summer game his sport of choice after being overlooked at the 1995 National Draft.

But the Crows came calling during the Pre-Season Draft and Goodwin recalls the blunt advice from Adelaide football manager and close family friend John Reid: "Give footy a crack because your cricket career is pretty much done, son."

Within 12 months, Malcolm Blight was coach and Goodwin started to blossom. It was a magical time.

"'Blighty' came in and made a few changes, got rid of some older guys which gave the opportunity for some younger players to come in," he said.

"He gave the younger boys the belief to contribute to the footy club and it kick-started my belief that the opportunity might be there."

Goodwin has huge respect for Blight, who along with Reid and another former Crows coach Neil Craig he cites as the strongest influences on his playing career.

"The opportunity to play came from John and Blighty built that belief in me and educated me on the fundamentals of the game and was a great teacher of the game.

"'Craigy' was a great people person and mentor who taught me about relationships, life skills and during some challenging times in my career he was there for me."

Of course, Goodwin is now senior coach at Melbourne, but for 24 hours he returned to his home town to be an Adelaide Crow once more and celebrate an honour he never anticipated.

"I feel awkward in some ways," he said. "It's not something I saw myself achieving. I'm obviously hugely honoured to be in that category but in some ways it's a bit embarrassing. It's something I'll be extremely proud of."

FACTFILE: SIMON GOODWIN
Club South Adelaide/Adelaide
Born December 26, 1976
Recruited from South Adelaide (SA)
Playing career 1995-2010 (S Adel 1995-98; Adel 1997-2010)
Games 293 (S Adel 18 games; Adel 275)
Goals 163 (S Adel 1; Adel 162)
Player honours Adel best & fairest 2000, 2005, 2006; Adel 2nd best & fairest 2007, 2008; Adel 3rd best & fairest 2009; Adel premiership team 1997, 1998; Adel captain 2008-10; All-Australian 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2009; AFLCA Player of the Year 2006; Michael Tuck Medal 2006; South Australian representative (1 game, 0 goals); AFL Dream Team representative (1 game, 2 goals); International Rules representative (3 games); Adel Team of the Decade 1991-2000; Adel Hall of Fame; SA Football Hall of Fame

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