Alex was quick to say thank you for the recognition given to him:
“Saracens fans and supporters are incredible, week in, week out. They turn up at Allianz Park and away from home. I can’t speak more highly of them, so to be recognised by them as Player of the Year is a massive privilege especially after the year we’ve had as a team. Yes, there have been lows, but there have been huge highs and to win the double, for the development side to get to the final, and the Shield guys to win have all been incredible. As a season we couldn’t have really asked for more as a club, so to be recognised by the fans in that regard is the icing on the cake.”
Alex started at full back in both the Champions Cup and Premiership finals and was named European Player of the Year: quite a season for othe talented 31-year-old.
He reflected, “Winning the double hasn’t quite sunk in as winning the Champions Cup was such an emotional high. It was billed in the week leading up to it as the biggest game of the decade. The way it happened, coming back into it and winning, it was the best performance I have ever been part of at Saracens. That was huge. Then to do what we did against Exeter where we were really poor for 60-65 minutes and yet we came back and played fifteen minutes of the best rugby we can possibly play and demolished a really class team. The trophies this year they mean everything because I love this club.”
Despite all this success though Alex doesn’t feel the need to find new challenges outside the club he’s been with since joining their Academy in 2006.
“It’s the only club I’ve ever known. I love winning with this group of players and this group of management. From Nigel Wray down, everyone’s incredible at this club and I love it. I have a huge connection with this club. Some people want to move on and not get comfortable. I don’t see it that way. I am appreciated. I love being at the club. I want to give back everything I’ve been given. What this club has given me, my family, my friends is priceless. I’d love to stay here as long as they will have me. I’ve got another three years so I don’t want to go away. It’s the club I love.”
Alex’s high regard for the club is evident and in his view, “It starts at the top down. You have the nicest most incredible human in Nigel Wray, who runs the club, who has got time for every single person, every single charity. He sets the tone.”
After such a long, exhausting but successful season how does Alex plan to relax this summer? After two stag dos and former teammate Tim Streather’s wedding he’s heading out to Malawi for two weeks. There will also then be another of the famous club squad trips to a European capital city, probably in early August.
Alex spent a fortnight in Malawi last summer as well, observing the work of the charity and teaching maths to the pupils in one school.
“I loved every minute of last year going there. Not only did I learn about lots about myself in terms of teaching, how to teach, about me as a person but also about how I could live without needing too much.”
Alex reflected that his future career choices may not include teaching.
“The kids are incredible. They listened intently and probably accepted I was the worse teacher they had ever had in maths but we had fun, we enjoyed it.”
However, it’s clear how much the charity work matters to him and how much he admires his mum and her dedication to it.
Alex will have a joint testimonial dinner on 18 March 2020 in London with his club captain and close friend Brad Barritt.
“My mum’s charity will be a big part of that and she’ll be front and centre, which she’ll hate, but she’s got a year to prepare to make that speech. It’ll be great to shine a light on what she does.”
After Alex’s near legend status for his commitment to fancy dress, will the testimonial see another Goode special? Not this time, apparently.
“I won’t be wearing fancy dress for that one. It’ll be a nice evening to celebrate our careers and the fact we’ve played 250, 260, 270, 280 games together. He’s obviously a hero and one of my best mates and someone to play with is brilliant so to celebrate together will be really nice.”
He’s told people before though that he wouldn’t wear fancy dress and then turned up dressed as The Joker, his favourite outfit he’s worn, so perhaps he’s just keeping plans quiet for now.
For more information about the Testimonial plans email Jocelyn.Robinson@mbnpromotions.co.uk.