Jump to content

  • Podcast: 2021 Season Review  

  • Podcast: 2021 Season Review  

The Rebuild of Melbourne's List - Mongrel Punt Article



Recommended Posts


In the past you could almost guarantee we would stuff up our draft night choices and then compound the problem with an appalling development program. These days we pick the right players and then bring them along like a top club would. Just missing the training facilities to make us the best in the business 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks EO, that was an entertaining read.

This puzzles me though:

It’s a little alarming to think that from the 2005 Draft all the way to 2012 – just five players are on Melbourne’s list: Among those are Max Gawn, Tom McDonald and Nathan Jones. 

The fourth would be Jetta, but who is the fifth?   

  • Thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Demonstone said:

Thanks EO, that was an entertaining read.

This puzzles me though:

It’s a little alarming to think that from the 2005 Draft all the way to 2012 – just five players are on Melbourne’s list: Among those are Max Gawn, Tom McDonald and Nathan Jones. 

The fourth would be Jetta, but who is the fifth?   

Dunno AVB?? Nah, can't be him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Demonstone said:

Thanks EO, that was an entertaining read.

This puzzles me though:

It’s a little alarming to think that from the 2005 Draft all the way to 2012 – just five players are on Melbourne’s list: Among those are Max Gawn, Tom McDonald and Nathan Jones. 

The fourth would be Jetta, but who is the fifth?   

Viney.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Engorged Onion said:

I keep thinking Viney is 23.... 

Haha, yeah, I still remember that Port game in Round 1 of 2013 with Neeld. It was Jack's first game, we were pummelled of course and Jack allegedly went a few so called senior players at the time after the game. A very deflating day that.

Edited by A F
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the recruiting team have done a brilliant job this past few years, most of it still comes down to player development and culture. We seem to have got this right now, but it was trash 10 years back. You can’t tell me that Spargo, Sparrow, Jordan etc are more talented than Watts, Trengove, Grimes etc. It’s nearly all down to development, so thank god were now making the most of the talent we’re bringing into the club!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lord Travis said:

While the recruiting team have done a brilliant job this past few years, most of it still comes down to player development and culture. We seem to have got this right now, but it was trash 10 years back. You can’t tell me that Spargo, Sparrow, Jordan etc are more talented than Watts, Trengove, Grimes etc. It’s nearly all down to development, so thank god were now making the most of the talent we’re bringing into the club!

I disagree, I think it's a mixture of recruitment, development and culture. If you don't recruit those with the biggest drive and best habits (ie not Watts), you could have the best development and culture in the game, but it wouldn't necessarily lift an individual like that.

I also think it's system too. Our coaching staff, in particularly Goodwin, has built such a solid system that the young guys merely need to play a role. They don't need to star. So when they're drafted, they benefit from the development coaches and pathways, and the culture that they're embedded within, but when they're finally ready, unlike previous years, they're not asked to star. They're asked to play a simple, clearly defined role. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lord Travis said:

While the recruiting team have done a brilliant job this past few years, most of it still comes down to player development and culture. We seem to have got this right now, but it was trash 10 years back. You can’t tell me that Spargo, Sparrow, Jordan etc are more talented than Watts, Trengove, Grimes etc. It’s nearly all down to development, so thank god were now making the most of the talent we’re bringing into the club!

Now we've got strong leaders like May and Lever around the club directing the kids in game.
They know exactly where they should be and what they should be doing.
Something that was sorely lacking for such a long time.
Talk about fast tracking development.

Reminds me of this sort of stuff.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks EO that was a great read and I agree with above comments that it all started with Peter Jackson the architect of our rise getting Paul Roos and a great recruitment team and the beat goes on.!!!

Edited by DeeZone
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed a difference when Viney started. All of a sudden we were tackling with commitment. Other things happened as well. But Players couldnt avoid going in with intent when Jack showed up.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, DeeZone said:

Thanks EO that was a great read and I agree with above comments that it all started with Peter Jackson the architect of our rise getting Paul Roos and a great recruitment team and the beat goes on.!!!

Agree 100%.  
I hope that, should we attain the holy grail, PJ is not forgotten in the accolades. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

I'm always wary of writers that put 'whilst' in nearly every sentence! Means they are trying too hard!

Just as an aside and something left out of the article is that Hunt has also been an important part of what we did with pick two. (Salem, Tyson and Hunt).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't personally think this is a particularly nuanced write-up, considering what might amount to be one of the boldest rebuilds in modern times. Roos had a simple task of stemming the bleeding and setting the basic cultural foundations, but while some peripherals remain we spent a lot of draft cookies in doing so. That includes Vince, Dawes, Lumumba, Kennedy, Frost, Melksham and Hibberd all for picks effectively in the early to mid-20s while sacrificing decent young talent - some who have been serviceable and helped lay the foundations but are not in the current team. 

The current crop is a post-Roos mini-reset, built on the strategic nous of Goodwin, Mahoney and Taylor (and probably others who should receive some credit), together with some good and bad luck. First step was to rebuild the engine room, in which we scored two serious hits (eventually) in Clarry and Trac, but they were landed on the back of high draft pics. The real genius has been in the MFC's manipulation of future trading, with a trade-up, get-em-in-early strategy for high-end talent. The willingness to then spend big on two KPFs was a masterstroke, and unheard of until now. 

Goodwin devised an exciting but flawed game-plan in his first two years as a senior coach, and then immediately identified how to fix it - almost completely flipping the script. Get rid of two two beloved members of our high-scoring forward-line and replace them with what has turned out to be two AA defenders, with the team now boasting the most staunch defence in the league. That done, with the structural basis in place, we went back to the talent pot (admittedly helped by bottoming out in 2019) and have plugged other gaps since. Taylor has nailed a number of later picks along the way. 

I'm not sure what my point is now. Maybe that the Roos era of rebuilding list-wise is still questionable (but maybe somewhat necessary). And that the actual rebuild of note has occurred in just the past three to four years, with Goodwin the visionary, Mahoney the master at the table, and Taylor getting the selections right both high and low? Consider this, 14 players in our last outing arrived at the club post-2017, with I think 9 finals debutants. This is a quick-fire rebuild. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest the aspect of this article i appreciated the most was a far more accurate description of the failed merger from our perspective. How we fought it. Up until now it’s mainly been all about how we wanted it and the hawks didn’t. So i was glad to feel some deeper truth being brought to that time. 

It’s amazing what real success can do to address ongoing narratives about the club! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took for us to hit rock bottom and the AFL appoint Peter Jackson for us to start breaking the shackles that have held us down for so long. Peter Jackson can't be thanked enough. Sure, he was in a paid position and all, however I think he certainly deserves Life Membership.

You read lots of comments about how we missed 4 flags by not merging with Hawthorn (but there is no guarantee that would have happened if we had), but i wonder how we would have gone if we hadn't been divided as a club, torn apart by the attempt to merge. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/2/2021 at 2:39 PM, Engorged Onion said:

Great article.

 I remember how dark so many were on Mays so called attitude and questionable fitness levels at first.

Also Lever took a while to strut his stuff.

Fast fwd to Rivers and Petty and hey presto...a suspect back line to the best in the comp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the idea of recruiting in waves. As much as he's a nufty, David King mentioned on FIRST CRACK this week that the industry thinking is you draft an elite core and bring them through together. This has certainly been our model.

The older core is May, Gawn, Brown, McDonald, Jones, Hibberd, Melksham and Jetta. We've traded in four of them and home grown the other four.

Ideally, you start with 8-10 solid older guys, but due to our recruiting and development in the 2007-2012 period, we've had to rely on slowly building that older core. Ironically, that allowed us to pick up high end draft capital to continue building that elite core.

Starting in 2012-2017, we drafted the next core. This was the core that we had to get right, but for many years the club talked about bringing through an elite group of guys together and then adding to it. That elite core is now Viney, Salem, Petracca, Brayshaw, Oliver, Langdon (at the end of '19) and Lever (at the end of '17). Throw in support players like Harmes, ANB and Fritsch (who some might argue could fit in the elite category), and you've got your middle core, driven by elite talent, that needs to get somewhere between 23-27 before they peak together. We're now seeing this.

Then, because you don't want to drop off a cliff when that middle core retires, you carefully build a younger core that can play support roles for the meantime, but have enough upside to potentially be as good. Eventually, they'll take over from the middle core, and you target the 2018-2023 recruitment periods to build this core. That core now looks like Petty, Spargo, Sparrow, Jordon, Jackson, Pickett, Rivers, Bowey, Laurie and who knows whether Hore, Turner, Rosman and Declase will make it, but if they do, you've built some nice depth across the ground. You then add an elite midfield talent like Cerra to that mix in 2021 and work out HTF you'll get an elite KPF onto your list before Brown and McDonald come to the end.

The internal thinking I'm sure is that as your two older cores propel the team up the ladder, you then start to become a destination club if you're serious, and this makes filling those holes in the younger core easier.

So Cerra now views Melbourne as the minor premier and at the very least, a prelim finalist. Maybe he can be wooed? And Ben King starts to think Melbourne is in a better window than his brother's team. Maybe he can be wooed next year?

So not only does this strategy rely on good planning from the outset, smart and excellent recruiting, and an ability to be creative at the trade table, but it relies on you becoming a destination club on field to offset the lack of trade/draft capital you'll increasingly not have at your disposal. Geelong have shown this and with perhaps a more dynamic game plan, they might have done more damage at the pointy end over the last decade.

Where we might differ slightly from a club like Geelong is that we're targeting players for our younger core (18-23), rather than targeting players in that middle core or older core. Geelong have done this because obviously FAs require only salary cap and not draft capital, so must be in FA age range to land them, but I think we've been ahead of the game for a few years now when it comes to pick trading and getting good deals done for the right players.

I reckon our long term planning may well look to continue 'topping up' the emerging core, rather than the older core.

As elite young talent is shipped off interstate, I'm sure we're tracking the talent we really rate up on the Gold Coast, at GWS and anywhere else across the country. We can then target guys in the 21-25 age bracket to extend our list's longevity. 

The next 2-3 off seasons will be fascinating.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, DeesignerAU said:

It took for us to hit rock bottom and the AFL appoint Peter Jackson for us to start breaking the shackles that have held us down for so long. Peter Jackson can't be thanked enough. Sure, he was in a paid position and all, however I think he certainly deserves Life Membership.

You read lots of comments about how we missed 4 flags by not merging with Hawthorn (but there is no guarantee that would have happened if we had), but i wonder how we would have gone if we hadn't been divided as a club, torn apart by the attempt to merge. 

But who know whose flags they would be anyway.  
 

One thing for sure, they would not be Melbourne Demons flags, which is just what  we are aiming for right now.  
 

I would get far more joy from that, in my early dotage, than a Melbourne Hawks or Melthorn or Hawbourne red, blue, brown and gold one or even 4. 

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    THE TRADING CHRONICLES 2021 by Whispering Jack

    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOT MUCH The 2021 Free Agency and Trade Periods were billed by Fox Footy as promising a “period like no other and that certainly proved correct but not for the reasons that Network spin suggested when promoting its daily program of news from the trade desk. The truth is that the football public has endured an uneventful and forgettable fortnight unless you perhaps, happen to be a Carlton or a Hawthorn fan. The Blues managed to pick up the biggest name of the trade peri

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features

    CHANGES 2021 by The Oracle

    Part 1: Moving right along … For the first time in aeons, the end of the football season hasn’t felt as if it passed so swiftly. We’re still living the dream of 25 September, 2021 and rightfully so — we were patient, long-suffering and we’ve earned the right to party hard (as long as we’re not infecting the rest of the state as some health authorities contend). But we’ve also come into October which in football terms means that for one segment of the Melbourne Football Club — the recru

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 12

    THE APPRENTICE by Whispering Jack

    Melbourne Next Generation Academy prospect Mac Andrew has had a meteoric rise in the eyes of many track watchers who follow the fortunes of football talent at the elite level. So much so that under the AFL's new rules which prohibit clubs from matching bids on their NGA players within the first 20 selections, there’s a widely held perception that Andrew is falling out of the club’s grasp.   Despite being buoyed by the Demons’ drought-breaking premiership, some fans are showing their a

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 3

    OUR GRAND OLD FLAG by George On The Outer

    When an AFL Grand Final approaches, supporters look for omens to help them foresee how their team will fare in the contest.   Melbourne supporters were, until just before Saturday’s opening bounce, the best in the business at looking for positives to give them hope and direction - a natural feeling after 57 years in the wilderness. So when the Bulldogs’ streamers kept slipping from the handle of the Premiership Cup as Glen Jackovich delivered it to Optus Stadium, they wondered whether it

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE ICING ON THE QUAKE by Whispering Jack

    It’s not Christmas yet but if the Melbourne wins its last game of the 2021 season, then many of its fans will be celebrating early. There already are some parts of our town where the pending festivity is preordained. Houses are decked out with red and blue banners and streamers, some of which appeared as early as last Saturday week, on the morning after the Demons’ magnificent 83-point crushing of Geelong in their preliminary final at Optus Stadium. While it’s great to see the numbers of lo

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CAT SKINNING by George On The Outer

    When they defeated the Geelong Cats in the 2021 AFL Preliminary Final on Friday night in Perth, Melbourne proved that there is more than one way to skin those cats.  They did it in the ruck and in the middle, they did it in the forward line, they did it in defence and around the ground, but importantly, each and every player a Demon guernsey spent his night at Optus Stadium skinning an opponent. Following the after-the-siren win against Geelong in Round 23, there was an expectation of

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE POINTY END by The Oracle

    The AFL’s two oldest clubs, Melbourne and Geelong, face off on Friday evening in a sudden death Preliminary Final. It’s a game that promises plenty in terms of fascination and intrigue as a result of the rivalry that’s been building between the teams over recent encounters that have been tight struggles which have gone to the wire with two of them decided by after-the-siren goals. The added touch of mystery attached to this week’s meeting comes by virtue of the fact that it’s going to take

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE VFL YEAR THAT NEVER WAS by KC from Casey

    The rising case numbers and the continuing lockdowns in Victoria and NSW spelled doom for the 2021 VFL season which went through a slow, painful demise before its recent official cancellation. After weeks of indecision, the AFL decided to pull the plug on the season with the 10-0 Bulldogs recognised as minor premier, but without a premiership cup and without awarding the J.J. Liston Medal for the best and fairest VFL player. It was somewhat fortuitous for the integrity of the competition th

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TAMING THE LIONS by George On The Outer

    With nine finals debutants in the side, the Melbourne Football Club had a daunting assignment ahead of it in the First Qualifying Final — to overcome the competition’s highest scoring side, the Brisbane Lions. In the end, the Demons accomplished the task by putting the bite on their opponents on their way to taming the Lions and recording a 33 point win that propelled them into one the two Preliminary Finals of 2021.   It was one of those debutants, Luke Jackson, who put the bite in more

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    RETURN TO NEVERLAND by Whispering Jack

    The greatest Demon A HIGHWAY OF DEMONS by Whispering Jack CHAPTER SIXTEEN - RETURN TO NEVERLAND  I have a six year old grandson who recently took up the family tradition of following the Demons. He had his first taste of the game a few years ago when he went to the “G” with his parents to watch the 107-point massacre of Carlton and he went to another game in the following season which was also a W for the Dees. But his appetite for the club has grown exponentially this year and wh

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 13

    METAMORPHOSIS by Whispering Jack

    I’ve always believed that when the home and away matches come to an end, the football season takes on a completely different shape and character. During the regular season, each team’s goals progress as the weeks pass and if you’re good enough to survive and make the grade, the situation changes. The comparison can be made with the life cycle of a butterfly going through stages from egg to larva to caterpillar, cocoon and in the end to a bright and colourful creature that emerges from darkness i

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    STEALING THE CATS’ CREAM by George On The Outer

    They were leading by 44 points well into the third quarter of a game to decide the minor premier, having kicked nine unanswered goals. The Cats were about to lap up their bowl of cream, dreaming of next week but the Demons led by Max Gawn had other ideas. In a stunning finish, they stole the game from under them to claim the plaudits as best team and top of ladder position. In a remarkable game, it all came down to Max having to kick the winning goal after the final siren, something which s

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...