2018 in a Nutshell
The Dees finally delivered on expectation in 2018 finishing one win outside the Top Four, then making it to the preliminary final eventually losing to the premiers West Coast over in Perth. The Dees are stacked with talent on every line, they have the experience under their belts, their premiership window is well and truly ajar.
2019 Playing List
FB – Jetta – May – Kolodjashnij
HB – Lewis- Lever – Hibberd
C – Brayshaw – Oliver – Salem
R – Gawn – Viney – Neal-Bullen
HF – Petracca – T McDonald – Melksham
F – Fritsch – Weideman – Hannan
B – Frost, Jones, Harmes, VandenBerg
Emg – Preuss, Garlett, Spargo,
Ins & Outs:
Pick 27 – Tom Sparrow
Pick 33 – James Jordan
Pick 53 – Aaron Nietschke
Pick 56 – Marty Hore
Pick 75 – Toby Bedford
Lochie Filopovic (rookie)
Five Fearless Predictions
Many were left scratching their heads when Braydon Preuss, widely considered the best back up ruck in the competition, made the decision to join Melbourne and play with Max Gawn. Gawn is only 27 and been one of the best ruckmen over the last 4 years, so Goodwin must have sold Preuss on a two ruck game plan. It is hard to see this working as Gawn is so effective using his elite tank to ruck 95% of the time and Preuss is largely unproven as a forward.
Prediction – Goodwin may experiment with two rucks, but by round 4 Preuss will be back in the VFL.
Clayton Oliver Big Year?
It is hard to believe that Clayton Oliver is only just starting his fourth season, as he is already one of the elite midfielders of the competition. He has an unbelievable ability to clear the ball with a combination of strength and creative hands. He has had a restricted preseason, yet has the skillset to catch the eye of the umps. Melbourne will win a lot of games in 2019 which generally attracts votes.
Prediction – Oliver will win the Brownlow
How much petrol is left in Jones Tank?
Jones has been the warrior that the Dees the needed to get them through the tough times. It did not matter how bad things got, he was the one player that never lower his colours and continued to get the best out of himself. Neeld overlooked him for captaincy favouring the younger Jack Trengove and Jack Grimes, both now out of the AFL, but Jones is not the sort of player to drop his head and complain, he stuck with it improved himself further, took the captaincy and lead the Dees back to the finals. Now they are poised to make a serious push for a premiership and after 264 games and at 31 years of age Jones is slowing down, despite playing all 25 games last year I fear Goodwin may be faced with the heart-breaking decision of leaving Jones out of the side for finals push.
Prediction – Jones to fall outside of the best 22
If the last three finals campaigns have taught us anything, it’s that the premiers can come from anywhere. Why not the Demons? On paper they compare favourably to most clubs, they have the star power in Gawn, Tom McDonald, May, Oliver, Brayshaw, Viney, Petracca, Lever and Jetta. The quality role players in Hibberd, Melksham, Salem, Weideman, Neal-Bullen, Kolodjashnij. All of which are in or soon to be hitting the peak of their careers. The time is now to get a discount lodge at Mt Buller because the Dees fans will be watching this season with much anticipation.
Prediction – Melbourne will win the premiership.
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