Long history for Saints duo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Long history for Saints duo

By Melissa Woods 22/09/2010 12:36:20 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda's Andrew McQualter learnt a very early lesson about the high standards Brendon Goddard sets for his teammates as well as himself.

Both boys from the country, they grew up in Traralgon in eastern Victoria and later boarded at Melbourne's Caulfield Grammar.

"The first memory of BJ (Goddard), he was playing against us in a basketball game," McQualter recalled ahead of the AFL grand final against Collingwood on Saturday.

"I think he got told off because he was trying to fight his own team-mates or something.

"He was that competitive when he was 10 years-old, so nothing's changed."

A year apart at school, the pair went on to both captain the first XVIII at Caulfield - an honour also claimed by Carlton captain Chris Judd, who this week was awarded his second Brownlow Medal.

"We've had a long journey together, BJ and I," McQualter said.

"We're happy, we're lucky that we've both ended up at the same club."

But Goddard, 25, and McQualter, 24, have trodden different paths through their careers at St Kilda.

The versatile Goddard was the No.1 pick in the 2002 draft and made his senior debut while still a schoolboy.

Back-to-back All-Australian selections in 2009 and 2010 speak volumes for his exalted position in the sport.

McQualter was also a first-round draft selection (No.17 overall in 2004) but his career has been more of a slow burn.

He was delisted by the Saints several years later, only to be thrown a lifeline by the club in the 2008 rookie draft.

He reinvented himself first as a run-with player and then as a defensive forward.

"I'm still fighting for a spot every week and I've just got to play my role within the team and hopefully that holds me in good stead," McQualter said ahead of what will be his second successive grand final appearance.

"It's not something I can worry about, to be honest."

That uncertainty prompted a dig from his mate.

"There's no guarantees," Goddard quipped.

Goddard ended last year's heartbreaking 12-point loss to Geelong with a broken collarbone and a heavy bandage around his nose.

The pair are hoping their second chance on Saturday will provide a happier chapter in their long friendship.

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