Everything fell apart at Essendon when the supplement saga hit the club and Brendon Goddard was placed in an awkward situation, having only recently made the move from St Kilda.
The Bombers were a team on the rise, finishing eighth on the ladder in 2013 before being booted from the finals series.
Speaking to Sportsday WA, Goddard said he still wonders what would have been, had the Bombers continued on their trajectory before the drugs scandal.
“It was obviously a missed opportunity because of things outside of my control,” he said.
“I look back on it and essentially I was still in the prime of my career. I was 27 when I left St Kilda and we had our struggles in 2012 at the Saints, but I was physically and mentally in the best shape of my life.
“(My first year at Essendon) went really well. I could see the vision that James Hird and Mark Thompson and David Evans had kind of painted for me when I was talking to them to come across and the promises they made, it was all coming to fruition.
“Obviously it then all blew up in our face. I see it as a real missed opportunity and selfishly, I essentially wasted four years of my career because of the restraints we had and the mental state everyone at the footy club was in … you weren’t in a place to be able to perform at your best or consistently enough to compete at AFL level.”
The Bombers were thrown into chaos from that point forward and Goddard is proud of what they were able to achieve given the circumstances.
“I’ve said it time and time again, footy is hard enough to get yourself up for and play consistently well without all these external pressures going on,” he said.
“So I guess what we achieved at the time was still impressive considering the situation really.”