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Jordan de Goey opens up about AFL controversies: 'S**t situation'

The 26-year-old admits he feared for his future in the AFL after an initial contract offer from Collingwood was pulled.

Jordan de Goey and Collingwood teammate Jamie Elliott.
Jordan de Goey has admitted he let himself and his Collingwood teammates down with his off-field behaviour last season. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Collingwood forward Jordan de Goey has reflected on his controversial 2022 season ahead of the Magpies premiership campaign getting underway, admitting he put himself in a 's**t situation' through two key off-field AFL controversies. The 26-year-old signed a contract extension with Collingwood late last year, putting to bed speculation he was unhappy with his standing within the club.

De Goey's season was compromised by two ongoing off-field issues - the first being the fallout from his arrest in New York back in 2021, with the second an incident in which he was filmed groping a female friend while on a mid-season trip to Bali last year. Having gained a newfound sense of security after re-signing with the Magpies, De Goey says he remains a 'work in progress' but has a better awareness of how his actions were not just detrimental to his own career, but the prospects of the Magpies as a whole.

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Despite the controversy surrounding De Goey he was a crucial part of the Collingwood side that made a surprise push to the preliminary finals in the second half of last season. After having an initial contract offer pulled in the wake of the Bali incident, De Goey said it had ultimately been a wake-up call about his decision-making away from football.

“It looked like it could have gone either way at times," De Goey said. "The situation was a lot different to the way it was portrayed but at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter because something happened and it wasn’t what anyone wanted to see.

“That was probably the moment where it was like ‘OK, let’s start parameters in place, let’s start getting the right people guiding and supporting you’.”

De Goey was contrite about his off-field behaviour last year, accepting that it had detracted from his ability to do his job. He has since sought professional help in making various changes to his lifestyle away from football.

The result has been what Collingwood insiders have considered De Goey's strongest pre-season with the club to date, despite having minor surgery during the break. De Goey owned up to his errors from the past and said he was determined to repay the faith shown in him by Collingwood, in particular head coach Craig McRae.

“I have made mistakes and I will probably make mistakes in the future,” De Goey said. “That’s the reality of it. For me, it is all about trying to be the best version of myself on and off the field.

"It was my own wrongdoing. A lot of it was to do with me as a person. I didn’t truly understand myself. I didn’t like the person I was being. But you get to that point where you have got to start making some changes and start putting your best foot forward.

“Now I am at a point in my life where I’m just happy to be the bloke who is not on the front page of the paper, not on the back page of the paper, but who is happy doing his job.”

Jordan de Goey determined to repay Collingwood's faith

Following the club withdrawing their offer, De Goey quickly became one of the AFL's most sought after free agents - but few clubs were willing to take a risk on him with Collingwood's support for him seemingly in question. De Goey came close to signing a deal with St Kilda before agreeing to a new deal, containing several 'behavioural clauses' with Collingwood.

Though the requirements had been a sticking point early in negotiations, De Goey said he had now accepted the ways they were in both his and the club's best interest. He revealed he had been concerned his AFL career could potentially come to a swift end.

“It is not just about money. At the end of the day, money doesn’t buy you success. Everyone wants to be a part of a premiership at Collingwood, the biggest club in the land,“ he said. “To me, that was a big driving factor (in deciding to stay) as well as the (strength) of the list we have and the coaching staff we have there.”

Jordan de Goey hi-fives Collingwood fans.
Jordan de Goey says he is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Collingwood after a turbulent season in 2022. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Collingwood will take on reigning premiers Geelong at the MCG in their season opener. However the club hasn't been free of controversy heading into the 2023 campaign, with star forward Jack Ginnivan suspended for two games over a drugs scandal which emerged weeks before the season was set to begin,.

Another big story in Collingwood's pre-season has been Darcy Moore succeeding Pendlebury as Collingwood captain. Moore's selection as captain was described as an 'inspired choice' by former coach Nathan Buckley, who lauded the new skipper's response to Ginnivan's scandal earlier in the year.

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