Swans hope to numb McVeigh's pain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans hope to numb McVeigh's pain

By Liam FitzGibbon 02/09/2011 03:54:30 PM Comments (0)

Sydney veteran Adam Goodes hopes the Swans can help provide Jarrad McVeigh with two bright hours amid the darkest of times when he returns in Saturday's final-round AFL clash with Brisbane at the SCG.

McVeigh, Goodes' co-captain and close friend, will come back into the side only a week-and-a-half after his four-week-old baby daughter Luella died from a heart condition.

The 26-year-old McVeigh informed his teammates during the week he wanted to return, telling Goodes he wanted to restore some routine to his life as he and wife Clementine continued to grieve.

McVeigh will be welcomed back with open arms as the Swans look to build more momentum for the finals following their stunning upset win away to Geelong last weekend.

And Goodes drew on experiences of his own ups and downs to suggest McVeigh's return to the field could help ease his pain - albeit briefly.

"It's a real tough time at the moment and still very sad and for him, maybe being able to get back out on the footy paddock - even though it's just two hours tomorrow night - might just be able to take his mind off it a little bit," Goodes said on Friday.

"... At the moment there has been a lot of negative stuff gone on and a lot of sadness.

"Getting out there on the footy field and being able to do what I love doing is definitely a time where I get to have a lot of ups and maybe that's why Jarrad wants to play this week, maybe to try and reverse how he's feeling right now, even if it's for a couple of hours."

While Goodes welcomed McVeigh's prompt return, he stressed the midfielder had never been under any pressure to come back, nor would he be to perform against the Lions.

"I said to him the whole time, it's his decision," Goodes said.

"... I told him that he doesn't need to worry about what anybody says about his performance after the game, whether he plays poorly or whether he's best on ground.

"... But knowing how much of a competitor and how determined Jarrad is, he'll want to come on Saturday and play a good game."

The match promises to be an emotional affair, also possibly representing Tadhg Kennelly's last home match after announcing on Thursday he would retire at season's end.

Sydney will face St Kilda in the first week of the finals, regardless of what happens against the Lions, but hosting rights for the clash remain up for grabs.

The Saints would likely host Sydney at Etihad Stadium if they defeat Carlton on Saturday night, while Sydney could earn home ground advantage should they beat the Lions and St Kilda lose to the Blues.

Goodes warned against complacency against a 15th-placed Lions side he said was ever-improving under coach Michael Voss.

"No doubt they'll want to finish the year with a win," he said.

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