Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin. Picture: Getty Images
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin. Picture: Getty Images

Goodwin ‘sick in guts’ after season from hell

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says he still feels "sick in the guts" about the club's disastrous campaign, but is adamant the Demons can bounce back.

Melbourne is planning a gruelling summer to re-establish peak fitness levels and a razor-sharp edge under new high performance boss Darren Burgess.

The Demons have made sweeping change to the football department and will tweak the game plan to help sharpen their ball movement for 2020.

Goodwin admitted the club failed its supporter base this year, slumping from a preliminary final finish to second last spot on the ladder.

"The Demon army was once again believing that just maybe this might be our year (in 2019), but fast-forward 23 weeks and we had got it all wrong," Goodwin said.

"We had once again sent the demon throng back into hell, a position our supporters have experienced far too often, and a position that quite honestly, makes me feel sick in the guts.

"For that, we apologise. We know that we have let you down, and we have let each other down."

While injuries and a host of post-season surgeries plagued the club last summer, there is also a view players became too comfortable on the back of Melbourne's surge up the ladder in 2018.

Retired premiership midfielder Jordan Lewis warned the players must attack this pre-season with "a different attitude" to make the most of the talented list, including a superstar onball unit.

The club will bolster its list over the trade period with moves for Fremantle wingman Ed Langdon, Greater Western Sydney free agent Adam Tomlinson and, potentially, Collingwood goal kicker Jamie Elliott.

 

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Goodwin said the Demons were up for the fight.

"Our lessons have been learnt," Goodwin said.

"The work required, the connection required, the leadership required, the devotion required to be great in this game is very clear.

"We know what's ahead of us and we can't wait to get to work."

 

Jack Viney will be ready for the first day of Melbourne’s pre-season. Picture: Michael Klein
Jack Viney will be ready for the first day of Melbourne’s pre-season. Picture: Michael Klein

 

Co-captain Jack Viney is expected to complete a full pre-season after missing the past two summers with a serious foot problem.

He said the team had a point to prove.

"This off-season and pre-season is massive for us," Viney said.

"I can't wait to get to work with the playing group. We were bitterly disappointed with how the year ended.

"I can feel the enthusiasm and motivation in the room to get to work with each other and redeem ourselves."

Max Gawn, who could join Viney as co-captain next season, and gun midfielder Clayton Oliver were joint winners of the best and fairest award on Monday night.

Oliver said he had renewed his focus on the defensive aspects of his game.

" 'Chappy' (assistant coach Troy Chaplin) and 'Plappy' (assistant coach Justin Plapp) sat me down mid-year and had a real good chat," Oliver said.

"(To) probably get back on track with the defensive side of things.

"I think it's going to be really good for me and really good for the team what I can give defensively."