Dane Swan knows more than most how banished Collingwood gun Jordan De Goey can turn around his career.
The former black-and-white bad boy says he has advised the 21-year-old midfielder to let his football define him so people will forget his indiscretions.
De Goey is banned indefinitely from AFL and is in his third week of VFL training after he was caught drink-driving in February.
“I’ve spoken to him a little bit and given him my little bit of advice,” the 2011 Brownlow medallist told SEN on Wednesday.
“I had my opinions on it.
“You can’t let that define you, you’ve got to let your football define you because, in the end, if he has a really good year no one is going to remember what he did in February.”
Swan, who made headlines throughout his 15-year career, acknowledged his history meant he spoke to De Goey from a different angle to most.
He was almost fired after a drunken brawl in Federation Square in 2003 that ended in a criminal conviction.
The 34-year-old also served a club-enforced suspension in 2012 for drinking in a match week and admitted after his retirement that he’d taken illegal drugs during his career.
Swan may have had his tongue in cheek when he pondered what would happen if De Goey messed up again.
“Eventually you run out of chances – unless he gets really good, then you get a few more,” he said
As part of his club suspension, De Goey is working as a landscaper during the day and training with their VFL squad in the evenings.
He was a standout player during a combined AFL-VFL internal trial for the Collingwood players a fortnight ago.
But there is no indication yet how long he will serve his penance outside the Pies’ AFL team, who open their season on March 24.