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“Incredibly angry and frustrated”: Why Demons coach has not yet made contact with Smith


Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin admits he has been too angry and frustrated to speak with Joel Smith in the wake of his illicit drugs drama.

The Demons utility returned a positive test for cocaine late in the 2023 home and away season as his club prepared for the impending finals series.

While the matter remains with Sports Integrity Australia, it has not stopped the Demons from expressing their disapproval.

Goodwin was asked how he felt about the situation and if he had made contact with 27-year-old Smith.

“I can only go by how I feel,” Goodwin told SEN in an exclusive interview.

“When I first heard, I was incredibly angry and frustrated

“To think that potentially we’ve got a player in Round 23, on the eve of a finals series, not doing everything possible to help the success of our footy team.

“I can only imagine that same feeling would be permeating through our supporter base.

“I haven’t spoken to Joel, I’m going to let the process play out. Because I’ve got a level of anger and frustration towards it.

“There are the right people that are talking to Joel from a welfare perspective, and working really closely with him around that.

“Where I sit right now I’ve got a little bit of frustration because of everything we’ve just been speaking about - the behaviours and the culture of our footy club, what we were embarking on into this season - to potentially being in this situation.

“I’ve got a bit of anger towards it.”

Goodwin says the playing group, particularly the club’s leaders, felt the same way.

He insists the majority of the players were intent on working towards another premiership only for their season to come to an abrupt end after a second successive straight sets exit.

“Exactly the same as myself,” he replied when asked of the players’ perspectives.

“Our leadership group, they’re really upset by it. They give everything they can to our footy club and they were doing everything they could to give themselves the best crack at the ultimate success.

“They’re disappointed, they’re angry and we’ll just work our way through it slowly as a footy club.”

Goodwin insisted that Smith had not made contact with him since the positive drug test was returned.

The coach and club CEO Gary Pert answered a number of questions from SEN’s Garry Lyon and Sam Edmund regarding the apparent culture crisis at the club.


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