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Goodes turns back the clock

Top five plays: Syd v Freo The big moments from the First Qualifying Final clash between the Dockers and Swans
Adam Goodes collected 25 disposals against Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.

Adam Goodes has always performed on the big stage, so does it come as a surprise the 35-year-old was one of the best performed at Domain Stadium on Saturday?

The dual Brownlow Medallist was back to his brilliant best in the Swans’ disappointing but spirited qualifying final loss to Fremantle, collecting 25 disposals while providing much needed dash through an undermanned midfield.

Goodes stood up in the absence of injured duo Kieren Jack and Luke Parker to also take several marks and lay five tackles while dealing with plenty of heat from a hostile Perth crowd.

It was a throwback to his early days when the champ was at the coalface of the Swans’ epic battles with West Coast over the 2005 and 2006 seasons

And in more recent times – that brave-hearted performance in the 2010 Premiership comes straight to mind.

Goodes’ experience will be pivotal to any success achieved this finals series, especially when that experience can translate into form with last weekend’s effort up there with the best of them.

Last weekend’s qualifier was Goodes’ 27th finals appearance, overtaking Jude Bolton (26) as the Club’s finals game record-holder and topping an esteemed list which also includes Ryan O’Keefe (24), Jarrad McVeigh (20) and Ted Richards (19).

In the history of the AFL/VFL, only 14 names boast more finals matches than Goodes.

Swans coach John Longmire is expected – through necessity – to take advantage of Goodes’ incredible versatility up forward and through the midfield as the side prepare for Saturday night’s semi-final against North Melbourne.

“He ran around with a real spring in his step,” Swans coach John Longmire said on Monday. “Whatever role he plays he needs go about it like he did on the weekend.”

Missing key forwards Lance Franklin and Sam Reid for the rest of the season and with midfielders Kieren Jack and Luke Parker touch and go, look for Goodes to help fill the void as he’s done so for the past 17 seasons, 371 matches and now 13 finals series.