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CHANGES 2014 - Retirements, Trades and Delistings

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CHANGES 2014 - Retirements, Trades and Delistings by The Oracle

Melbourne played its last game for 2014 more than two months ago. It was the eighth consecutive season in which losses exceeded wins and its percentage was again low at 68.37.

Given that even after the best of years, AFL clubs are expected to change on field personnel, it was inevitable for a team that won only four matches and finished in a virtual tie for the bottom spot that heads would roll.

That was the case with the Demons although the number of departures from the primary list to date falls a little short of the 25% predicted in some quarters.

The club's playing list for 2014 was:-


Rohan Bail Dominic Barry Sam Blease Shannon Byrnes Mitch Clark Mitch Clisby Daniel Cross Chris Dawes Lynden Dunn Michael Evans Jack Fitzpatrick James Frawley Colin Garland Max Gawn Jack Grimes Jesse Hogan Jeremy Howe Jayden Hunt Mark Jamar Matt Jones Nathan Jones Jay Kennedy-Harris Dean Kent Tom McDonald Jordie McKenzie Viv Michie Dan Nicholson Cameron Pedersen Aidan Reilly Christian Salem Jake Spencer James Strauss Luke Tapscott Dean Terlich Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Dominic Tyson Bernie Vince Jack Viney Jack Watts


Alexis Georgiou James Harmes Neville Jetta Max King


Maia Westrupp

During the season, Shannon Byrnes announced his retirement after a modest contribution in his brief time at the club, for a career tally 131 games of which 23 were for Melbourne and 117 goals. The two time premiership player for the Cats was originally brought in to provide much-needed experience and to act as a mentor for the younger players at the club and partly succeeded in that role before succumbing to injury during his second year at the club.

Forward Mitch Clark also announced his retirement earlier in the season under different conditions when it was revealed he was suffering from depression after struggling with his attempts to come back from a serious foot injury. The man regarded among the club's top three players managed only 15 games in his three seasons at the club, most of these in his first year. Late in the season there were rumours of Clark's impending return from retirement which turned out to be true but his medical advice apparently was that for the sake of his health his comeback should be elsewhere and he sought and ultimately obtained a trade to Geelong. His career tally overall is 97 games for 97 goals.

Another late season announcement was that the club's New Zealand international rookie Maia Westrupp was returning home after spending two seasons learning the game and playing mostly for the Casey Development League team.

Two players, Mitch Clisby (8 games, 1 goal) and Dan Nicholson (32 games, 4 goals) were cut when the first delistings were announced last month. Clisby spent the entire year at Casey while Nicholson managed only one AFL game in 2014.

Sam Blease (33 games, 25 goals) and James Strauss (24 games, 1 goal) were delisted over a week ago and yesterday Luke Tapscott (48 games 12 goals) lost his place, bringing the number of departing primary lister's to eight. Alexis Georgiou was also delisted after playing seven matches early in the season when promoted temporarily off the rookie list to cover a long term injury.

The worst kept secret of the year was James Frawley's inevitable departure from the club as an unrestricted free agent on a significant contract with premiers Hawthorn after 139 games and 18 goals for the club. Certainly, few supporters expected the former All Australian (2010) key defender to remain after spending a good part of the season rotating between the forward line and defence where he was no longer seen as a vital cog and his contribution were generally underwhelming in the eyes of many and most of us breathed a sigh of relief when the AFL announced that the compensation for Frawley would be band one or, in Melbourne's case, third pick in the forthcoming national draft.

The Demons welcomed father-son selection Billy Stretch for a third round national draft selection. The club has also announced that it will uplift Neville Jetta permanently back to the primary list after a breakout season as a promoted rookie.

During the trade period, the club gained Carlton goal sneak Jeff Garlett, the colourful Magpie defender Heritier Lumumba and in a late trade gained GWS tall defender Sam Frost.





The playing lists for 2014 are now:-


Rohan Bail Dominic Barry Daniel Cross Chris Dawes Lynden Dunn Michael Evans Jack Fitzpatrick Sam Frost Colin Garland Jeff Garlett Max Gawn Jack Grimes Jesse Hogan Jeremy Howe Jayden Hunt Mark Jamar Neville Jetta* Matt Jones Nathan Jones Jay Kennedy-Harris Dean Kent Heritier Lumumba Tom McDonald Jordie McKenzie Viv Michie Cameron Pedersen Aidan Reilly Christian Salem Jake Spencer Billy Stretch* Dean Terlich Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Dominic Tyson Bernie Vince Jack Viney Jack Watts


James Harmes Max King

* to be officially included at this month's AFL national draft.

There are more changes to come of course as the delisted free agency begins today and of course, the drafts later in the month and early in December will see some exciting additions to the club.

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They could have been Demons: Why draft night matters so much

Michael Rogers

October 26, 2014 12:34 PM

In a draft fantasy land, Nic Naitanui, Patrick Dangerfield, Kurt Tippett, Robbie Gray and Nat Fyfe could all have been Demons

MELBOURNE faces a pivotal moment in its rebuild under Paul Roos on November 25 when it will take two of the first three selections in the NAB AFL Draft.

It's vital for any club to get its top picks right but a look back at the Demons' recent draft history underlines just how important success is this year.

An analysis of any club's draft misses inevitably makes for uncomfortable reading, because no recruiting department can get every pick perfect. It's an inexact science that still frustrates the best.

However, Melbourne supporters can approach draft night with renewed confidence.

Although it's still too early for a definitive call, the Demons' strike rate looks to have improved since the end of 2012, when former Collingwood recruiter Jason Taylor took over as national recruiting manager.

Overlooking Ollie Wines for Jimmy Toumpas at No.4 in 2012 is the only selection that threatens to cost the Demons at this stage, but there is still time for Toumpas to make up the early ground conceded to his former under-18s rival.

Melbourne's record from 2006 to 2011, however, doesn't makes for such optimistic reading.

The recent departures of James Frawley, Sam Blease and James Strauss leave only 11 of Melbourne's 28 first-time NAB AFL Draft selections from that period remaining at the club.

Of those 11, defender Neville Jetta (No.51, 2008) was delisted in 2013 and retained as a rookie before earning a return to the senior list with a strong 2014 season, while utility Luke Tapscott (No.18, 2009) remains uncontracted.

And despite having a dozen picks inside the top 21 between 2006 and 2010 – more than any other club in that time – the Demons remain relatively bereft of top-liners.

Just four of those 12 top-21 picks are still at the club, and only two of those – Jack Grimes (No.14 in 2007) and Jack Watts (No.1, 2008) – played regular senior footy in 2014. Former skipper Jack Trengove (No.2, 2009) would have made it three, but for a foot injury that ruined his 2014 season and will likely spoil his 2015.

As mentioned earlier, every club has a litany of sob stories at the draft and trade table.

Fremantle's early failings (Andrew McLeod for Chris Groom, anyone?) are the stuff of legend while Richmond fans can only wonder what might have been if Matthew Pavlich and Lance Franklin, rather than Aaron Fiora and Richard Tambling, had made their way to Punt Road.

And equally, good (or poor) drafting is only part of the recipe for success. Stable administration, sufficient off-field resources and effective coaching are all part of the mix. Not all have been present at Melbourne during its recent woes, but all have been addressed.

Still, having A-grade talent to work with makes shortcomings in any of those areas far easier to manage.



12. James Frawley (Jack Riewoldt at No.13)

30. Ricky Petterd (Kurt Tippett, 32)

46. Colin Garland (Robbie Gray, 55)

62. Isaac Weetra (Tyson Goldsack, 63)


4. Cale Morton (Patrick Dangerfield, 10)

14. Jack Grimes (Callan Ward, 19)

21. Addam Maric (Scott Selwood, 22)

53. Kyle Cheney (Cale Hooker, 54)

66. Tom McNamara


1. Jack Watts (Nic Naitanui, 2)

17. Sam Blease (Luke Shuey, 18)

19. James Strauss (Hayden Ballantyne, 21)

35. Jamie Bennell (Steven Motlop, 39)

51. Neville Jetta (Michael Walters, 53)

64. Rohan Bail


1. Tom Scully (Dustin Martin, 3)

2. Jack Trengove (Ben Cunnington, 5)

11. Jordan Gysberts (Daniel Talia, 13)

18. Luke Tapscott (Nat Fyfe, 20)

34. Max Gawn (Allen Christensen, 40)

50. Jack Fitzpatrick (Taylor Duryea, 69)


12. Lucas Cook (Brodie Smith, 14)

33. Jeremy Howe (Luke Parker, 40)

50. Troy Davis (Paul Puopolo, 66)

53. Tom McDonald


36. Rory Taggert (Jack Newnes, 37)

53. Josh Tynan (Lachie Neale, 58)

54. James Sellar (Cameron Sutcliffe, 71)


4. Jimmy Toumpas (Ollie Wines, 7)

26. Jack Viney

48. Dean Kent

52. Matt Jones

68. Dean Terlich


9. Christian Salem

40. Jay Kennedy-Harris

57. Jayden Hunt (Tom Langdon, 65)


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs

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