‘Things you wish you could change’: De Goey comes to grips with ADHD

Collingwood midfielder Jordan De Goey has outlined his approach to keeping his career on track after being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in 2021.

The 26-year-old revealed his ADHD diagnosis after he returned from a headline-grabbing mid-season trip when he had to apologise for his behaviour after a video of him partying in a Bali nightclub surfaced on social media.

Jordan De Goey and coach Craig McRae have great respect for each other.Credit:Getty Images

The Magpies removed a contract offer at the time, but he eventually re-signed at the end of the season, rejecting a huge offer from St Kilda to extend his career with the Magpies by five years, staying loyal to the club that has shared in the ups and downs of his 137-game career.

The contract has behavioural clauses for the first two seasons, but some protection for De Goey as well to give him confidence the club would back him.

De Goey told the Unlaced Podcast that the mid-season controversy affected his football for a time, but he was pleased he was able to be at his best in a brilliant finals series where he was Collingwood’s best player in both the qualifying and semi-final wins. He said ADHD was a double-edged sword for him.

“It’s a hard one because I am still learning about it now,” De Goey said of ADHD.

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury has been a positive influence for Jordan De Goey.Credit:Penny Stephens

“It’s almost this hyper-focus and then just a massive drop-off. People can just last the whole day and just cruise. I am like ‘balls-out’ all day and then will crash and then I am ‘balls-out’ again and I will crash and then I am ‘balls-out’. That’s how I am, that’s how I work.

“I can’t sit still, I can’t go home and put the TV on and watch a movie, I need to get out of the house. It just pisses me off being inside.

“For me, learning about it, you learn all these triggers. If we are having drinks I will drink until I am drunk. It’s not one or the other. I will never do anything half-arsed.”

He said that characteristic helped his performance on field, but he needed to learn how to manage himself off field.

“It is one of those things where, in terms of footy I wouldn’t be the footy player I was without it.

“I am instinctive. I just do things and people say how did you do that or how did you see that.

“And this is sometimes the issue. I will do it and think about the consequences afterwards. It’s a double-edged sword where I will be instinctive and this is what I am going to do. And it’s like, ‘Oh f—’.”

He credited club psychologist Jacquie Louder with helping him understand how to manage ADHD and creating a support network for him that allows him to flourish and keeps him on track.

“Working with Jacquie it’s almost like I have a checklist off in my head now where I have to tick things off before I can do something. When you are young, it’s like, “F— it, I am here to have fun”.

“At times there are things you wish you could change or do differently. Now looking back I am really lucky I had Jacquie Louder.

“She knows everyone around me, she knows all my best mates. She communicates with all my best mates. You [guys] are almost like nets for me.

“I have put myself in a good position with the right support around me and I feel like I am safe. I feel like if I am doing something that I shouldn’t be doing one of you boys will say, ‘Pull your f—ing head in’, and I will be like, yep, you are right.”

De Goey said he had realised the importance of sharing what he was feeling with others and seeking help to navigate the challenges of football and life. It was a change to how he handled setbacks in the past. “Go and seek the help you need,” De Goey said.

De Goey said Craig McRae’s arrival as coach was enormously positive for the club while the support of captain Scott Pendlebury had been significant.

“[McRae] has been one of the best things that has happened to the Collingwood Football Club,” De Goey said. “I grew trust with him, he grew trust with me, he doesn’t focus on mistakes in the game.”

He said McRae’s ability to focus on the positives had transformed the environment.

“People do at times think you are almost invincible. I deal with stress. I deal with anxiety, I deal with everything else everyone else does,” De Goey said.

He said the fanaticism of Collingwood supporters was a significant reason for wanting to remain at the Pies, and acknowledged he had got things wrong in the past, but had learned to appreciate the resilience he had shown during his career.

“Sometimes you get pigeonholed into a category because it’s something in your past,” De Goey said.

“For me, it’s just trying to build to be something different, to be something better than that.”

News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article