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St Kilda debutant Hugh Goddard not fussed how long ‘Brendon’s cousin’ tag stays

Hugh Goddard says he doesn’t care how long it takes until people stop prefacing his name with the words: “Brendon’s cousin.”
Nanjing Night Net

Twelve years after Brendon made his debut for St Kilda against Richmond, Hugh will do likewise when the Saints take on the Tigers on Sunday at Etihad Stadium. The younger Goddard isn’t the type to let fripperies like the thoughts of others affect him.

“I’m not really fussed about what people think or say or all that kind of stuff. I just want to go out there and play my own footy,” Goddard said.

At 196cm, Goddard can play either as a key defender or key forward, but has spent much of his first time this year in the VFL doing the former. As such he will play down back against the Tigers, and in the vicinity of Jack Riewoldt – a handy template for a player who has successfully escaped the shadow cast by an older cousin.

Football is no laughing matter for Goddard jnr. The teenager has reached this milestone with a fastidious approach evident in his eight months at the club.

Time-wasting isn’t in his repertoire.

“You get as much out as you put in,” he said.

“Every day I come to the club with a mindset of getting as much out of myself as I can.

“If you drive yourself with that mentality then you’re going to give yourself the best opportunity to be a good AFL player. I try to live off that and try to do the best I can every day, and soak up as much as I can every day.”

Goddard identified two primary mentors thus far at the Saints – backline coach Danny Frawley and veteran defender Sam Fisher, who Goddard has played with on occasion this year at Sandringham.

“[Fisher’]s really take me under his wing. He’s always there if I have any questions for him. I go through some vision [with him] every week.”

As for a positional preference, the versatile Goddard is diplomatic.

“I play wherever I’m given an opportunity, and wherever the coaches want me, and thus far they want me down back.”

On Sunday, Goddard be at the other end to former Geelong under 18’s teammate Paddy McCartin – the key forward and No.1 draft pick recalled to the St Kilda side.

One day Goddard and McCartin could share the same forward 50, but for now he just wants to play – anywhere.

“It’s been a while coming but I’m really excited and ready to have a crack at it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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