‘Just want to get him back’: Pies coach throws support behind De Goey amid personal leave

De Goey granted personal leave | 01:31
David Zita from Fox Sports

Collingwood coach Craig McRae wants Jordan De Goey to return to the club as soon as he is able so the side can “get our arms around him” in the aftermath of his mid-season trip to Bali.

De Goey is on personal leave and is won’t play against Greater Western Sydney on Sunday and hasn’t been at seen at the club since returning from his trip to Bali, with videos of the 26-year-old in a Bali bar resulting in a suspended $25,000 fine from the club.

Speaking on SEN’s The Run Home, McRae said he wanted De Goey to return to his coaches and teammates as soon as he can.

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“I live in a moral compass world where I want to take accountability for my actions. I take responsibility for things that I do right and wrong,” he said.

“I’ve made many mistakes and I own up and I go ‘not good enough, I want to be better in that space’.

“My moral compass fits with Collingwood’s moral compass. You make a mistake, which we all do at times, take accountability and responsibility and we give our players the opportunity to take accountability and responsibility for their actions.”

Speaking on De Goey specifically, McRae said, “I can’t help but think right now I just want to get him back. I really do, I want to get my arms around him.”

“I spoke to him yesterday and he’s not in a place to step back into the footy club right now, but I want him to get here. He’s got to step through a few things first and get in a space where he can do that, but it’s a safe place for him, our footy club.

“I want him to feel love and support. I can’t help it, it’s in my DNA, love and support, not only him but all our players, get in our four walls and lets get our arms around him and help him move forward on this.”

Collingwood has been criticised by some for not putting up more resistance to the idea of De Goey going to Bali given his history, but McRae said that was never a consideration.

Magpies ditch De Goey offer after Bali | 06:08

“I knew he was going to Bali. I‘ve got Leigh Matthews in my head a lot ... he used to say, you act like men and we’ll treat you like men; if we treat you like boys then you’ll act like boys,” he said.

“I’ve got that ringing in my head and I want all of our players to feel there’s a level of trust to make their own decisions. Some are going to make good ones, some are going to make poor ones every so often.”

Later, McRae added: “As long as I’m the coach, I’m not gonna say no, you’re not going to do that.”

As the blowback to De Goey’s Bali trip reached fever pitch, Collingwood withdrew its contract offer to De Goey, which was believed to be two years with a trigger for two more at $800,000 per season.

While McRae refused to comment on the specifics of the contract, he did weigh in when asked if he believed De Goey would be at the club next year.

“I‘d hope so. I really do,” he said.

“I hope he finds a place where he can come back and then he can be the best version of himself.

“I want to have an environment where all our players are better for when they come in and when they leave. To be honest, I don’t know when that is and I don’t know when that is for me.”