Collingwood coach Craig McRae has spoken publicly for the first time about Jordan De Goey and couldn’t give the guarantee fans want to hear.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae has failed to guarantee Jordan De Goey will be at the football club next year.
The Magpies mentor on Thursday evening spoke publicly for the first time since De Goey’s Bali nightclub video scandal erupted.
The senior coach said he wants De Goey to return to the football club so he can support the 26-year-old, but he made one telling statement when asked the question plenty of fans are thinking about as the scandal continues to swirl.
McRae was asked during a scheduled appearance on SEN radio if he believes De Goey will be at the football club next year. His first three words said plenty.
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He responded: “I hope so. I really do. I hope he finds a place where he can come back and he can be the best version of himself.
“I want an environment where all our players are better from when they come in to when they leave. To be honest I don’t know when that is.”
De Goey has been granted personal leave by the club as he deals with the fallout of his mid-year trip overseas, which saw him come under fire when footage emerged on social media of his conduct towards a female friend.
The forward has been given a suspended fine of $25,000 — a punishment slammed by many as woefully inadequate, given he won’t need to pay a hundred if he stays out of trouble for the rest of the year.
Collingwood also confirmed on Tuesday it has parked contract talks with the talented player until the end of the season, after it was reported the Pies pulled a $3.2m offer because of the scandal.
Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson said on Monday night she believes De Goey will leave the club at the end of the season. Reporter Sam McClure also said on 3AW he believes Collingwood is preparing fans for their eventual decision to let De Goey leave the club.
McRae on Thursday said he would not be talk publicly about De Goey’s contract situation.
He also said he was not involved in the discussion that preceded the club’s decision to hand down the suspended fine.
“We want him back. We want to throw our arms around him, support him and educate him,” he said.
“In Jordy’s case, I just want to get him back. I really do. I want to get my arms around him. I spoke to him yesterday. And he’s not in a place where he can step back into the footy club right now.
“He’s got to step through a few things first and to get in a space where he can do that, but it’s a safe space for him, our footy club. I want him to feel love and supported.”
De Goey revealed he was diagnosed last year with ADHD and appeared to link it to the “mistake” he made in Bali — which has been added to a long list of prior off-field indiscretions.
Former Carlton and Brisbane star Brendan Fevola had his own off-field controversies during his playing days, and suggested De Goey needs to learn how quickly things can be taken away from him.
“I was in a similar situation back when I was playing footy, I didn’t really have the people around me,” Fevola told Melbourne’s 101.9 The Fox with Fifi, Fev & Nick.
“I thought that I was better than anything else and it cost me my career.
“You are blessed to be playing footy and earning money that people would dream about earning. Go play footy for eight years, don’t go anywhere and if you go somewhere don’t tell anyone.
“You go to Bali, everyone knows you go there, it doesn’t matter if you stuff up or not. It’s going to come back and it’s going to look bad.
“When I left footy, I was not respected, I played good footy, my footy career is never talked about with any other gun forward because of my off-field antics and that’s my own fault, I have to deal with that.
“I’d love to sit down (with De Goey) and say, ‘Mate, you can have everything gone like that!’
“I just think he needs to get himself around some people that help him, because he’s in the wrong circle.”