By Lance Jenkinson
Pakenham favourite son Tyson Goldsack will be given what seemed to be an unlikely chance to reignite his AFL career.
In one of the shocks of AFL draft week, Goldsack was selected by Port Adelaide with pick 16 in December’s rookie draft.
The last time Goldsack played in an AFL game was over two years ago on that heartbreaking day for his former club Collingwood in the 2018 grand final loss to West Coast by less than a kick.
It is unconventional for a player to return to the AFL system so long after leaving the ranks, even more so when you factor in that Goldsack is age 33.
But Goldsack has never been one to do it the usual way, so this move fits him like a glove.
“I’m excited, yeah,” he said.
“I was nervous coming in for day one yesterday, but it’s great.
“The club’s been great, welcomed me with open arms, so I’m happy to be here.”
Should Goldsack ever write a book, it would be one worth reading.
At a speaking engagement in 2018, he outlined his pathway from local football at Pakenham to entering the elite pathway system at the Gippsland Power, joking that he “wasn’t much of a football player growing up”.
Goldsack quipped that he might have only got a game in the juniors at first because his dad was coach and when he arrived at Gippsland Power he was among the benchwarmers.
His story is one that should be told by every coach in the south-east to kids to not give up on their dreams.
Not much time had passed between Goldsack’s junior career and winning a premiership at one of the biggest clubs in the land, Collingwood, in 2010
The irregularities in Goldsack’s career will continue at Port Adelaide.
The bearded one will not only stake a claim for a spot in the Power’s team, but also work as a development coach for the team’s defence.
Goldsack will largely play for Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL, but could be called into the AFL team if poor form or injury hits the team.
He is excited by the new role combining playing with player development and coaching.
“It’s two-pronged,” Goldsack said.
“It’s a development coach role with the defence, so helping with Monty [Brett Montgomery] there, and playing for the Magpies, so I think they’re calling it a leadership player role for the Magpies.
“I’m excited to pull the boots back on and get out there for the black and white still, which is nice.”
Goldsack was plagued by injuries late in his career, leading to a premature retirement.
However, it was not long after announcing his retirement that his body started to mend and he was feeling match fit again.
Never did he expect it would lead to his name being added to another AFL list though, but he kept fit and it paid dividends when he was selected by the Power.
“I finished AFL and I thought I might just drift off and play somewhere locally,” Goldsack said.
“Your body has been a bit of a wreck post-career, but you have three months off and the body feels good.
“This role came up and it’s a great opportunity to combine coaching elements with the guys that I’m actually coaching midweek on game day out there on the park.
“It’s exciting and I’ve had time to have a good think about how it would work and I think it’s going to work well.”