“I’m very open and I want to be a 300-game player for this football club. Loyalty and being a player for a club is a big thing for me and my family, so it’s something I’ve always dreamed about.”
The Cats sent coaches Chris Scott and Joel Selwood to a four-year offer to Goldstein on the highway, but He chose loyalty, a shorter three-year deal and a life of stability away from football.
“It’s never about chasing flags or anything like that,” he said. “It’s clearly coming to a close in 2019 when the club went through a fair change, Brad said. [Scott] We are no longer coaching and there are no contracts there, so that’s probably where the Geelong situation comes from.
“I thought about it very seriously, but it was more of an off-field thing and I worked really hard on my mental space to put myself in a good position. I think, mentally, I stayed will be better.”
Goldstein has signed a one-year deal to stay in North Melbourne until 2023, but the appearance of Tristan Cherry changed everything. Two years ago, Xerri tried to defect to St Kilda after being stuck with Goldstein and sometimes Tom Campbell under former coach David Noble. St Kilda) for a bigger chance, but he has taken over the mantle of number one manager. This was evident when Goldstein was ruled out of the Roos round.
“We’re all proud players and we all want to play, so it definitely hurts, but I understand why,” he said.
“I know there’s going to be a strong relationship between me and Tristan, it’s about whether we play two games or not. [ruckmen] Or not, and we’ve been needing two orderlies for less than a week – they didn’t expect that – so I totally understand.
“You’re sad for hours, you process it, you talk about it with your family and friends, and then you realize you have a job to do – for me, that was helping Tristan in that game and Help our VFL team and the little boys.
“It’s just part of being an elite athlete. You know sometimes you might not get drafted, or you might get cut, it’s just about how you respond, and I feel like I handled it well and responded.”
The trajectory of Goldstein’s season changed again when Xerri suffered an ankle ligament setback in the season opener that required surgery and would keep him out for as many as two more months.
The veteran big man stepped in without hesitation and didn’t discuss further what would happen once Xerri recovered. But if that happens, Goldstein is ready to play in the VFL again.
Discussions about his long-term future haven’t begun, not even between Goldstein and his manager Tom Petro, so he’s not thinking about playing more of the Second Division in 2024 if he chooses to go ahead.
“At this point, yes, I’m eager to keep playing,” Goldstein said.
“It’s just about helping the football club as much as I can this year and as we get closer to the end of the year I’m sure those discussions will take place. But I understand when you get to 34, 35 it takes some time to make those decisions.
“I think it’s going to be what’s best for the football club, what’s best for me and my family – we’ll go from there.”
As for Sunday’s milestone game against the Gold Coast, with around 30 family and friends heading to watch, Goldstein’s ideal scenario is simple.
“If we win,” he said. “I’ve gotten beyond the point where I really care about how many hits or touches I’m getting. I just want to win games, hopeful, and I know the lads are going to give it their all to make it happen.”