Swans premiership coach John Longmire declared in Sydney on Friday that his dual Brownlow medallist is expected to even play some NAB Cup summer series games early next month.
Goodes, 33, now famously played through last year’s historic grand final victory over Hawthorn with a torn posterior cruciate ligament and is in closing stages of a full recovery.
The dual Swans premiership hero and four-times All-Australian did not play in Sydney’s final intra-club practice match on Friday and is not expected to line-up in either triangular NAB Cup games against Greater Western Sydney or Carlton at Blacktown next week.
But Longmire boldly declared his decorated champion would get vital game-time into closing stages of his preparation for an amazing 15th AFL season late into the NAB program.
“He will get a couple of pre-season games in,” a confident Longmire said.
“He did some training last week, he’s training again today.
“So he’ll get the next two weeks of training and then hopefully be able to play in the pre-season game in the NAB Cup.
“Obviously he’s a priority for us. We need to make sure we work around that, but at the same time we don’t want five or six players coming in at the one time.
“We’ll have to manage that.”
Sydney travel to Melbourne for a Round 2 Nab Cup clash with St Kilda on Sunday March 3 and complete the summer series schedule at Blacktown six days later hosting Gold Coast.
The reigning champions launch their title defence with highly encouraging start with engagements against newcomers Greater Western Sydney at ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s west and then Gold Coast again at the SCG in Round 2.
Longmire played down expectations heading into the new premiership campaign as reigning champions and a highly encouraging early roster that should generate five or six wins in as many opening clashes.
“We can’t control what other teams do in regards to their preparation to us,” said the Swans boss.
“We don’t change what we think in regards to the opposition and that’s to be the best possible team that we can be.
“That’s what we’ll try and be.
“We don’t change our approach just because we won the premiership last year.
“It (grand final) could have gone either way and things went our way.
“You can’t feel entitled to sit back and relax or worry about what the opposition are doing just because we won the premiership.
“It just means that we need to roll our sleeves up and do it all again.
“That’s what I’m really looking forward to and taking the challenge head on and getting after a few of the teams that we think are real competitors in the competition.”