Current Ladder Position: 13th
Flag odds $201.00
ContestedFooty’s start of the year preview
13th-15th Melbourne do not want to be seen to be bottoming out any more and with Gold Coast stealing all the draft picks next year, you can’t blame them. Melbourne want to win more matches than they did last year… you’d hope so… but won’t say what their target is. Melbourne will push a lot of teams this year and they will win more than 4 games, but how many more? I’d say they could easily have won 6 last year if they weren’t tanking, so you would think that they would want to win 7 or 8 games. Wins against Fremantle and Richmond are keys to make making that happen. That many wins will normally land you 13th or 14th on the ladder.See the preview here.
Melbourne are doing better than many predicted, especially after their round one drubbing by Hawthorn. Melbourne then bounced back next week against the Pies where they lost by the fingertips of Ricky Petterd. After that Melbourne went on to beat a poor Adelaide outfit and ladder dwellers Richmond. The real shock was when they beat, the then unbeaten, Brisbane. Melbourne was seeming like they could push for the finals. Little did they know that Brisbane were going to turn in to a rabble. Since then the Dees have only beaten Port Adelaide in Darwin. They did draw with Collingwood last round though. They sit 4-1-7 and already have more points then they had at the end of 2009 and 2008.
A real strength of the Demons is their backline. They are ranked very highly in the league for scoreless inside 50s against. Which means that when the ball goes inside the Demons’ defensive 50 they get it out without the opposition scoring.
James Frawley has been a real improver this year and has cemented his spot in the back six
Once the midfield was where Melbourne got smashed. Not so now, they can compete much better even against the better teams. Trengove and Scully are permanent (when not rested) fixtures of the on-ball squadron after being drafted. They will only improve and provide more options for the Dees.
Moloney has been very good too. He has got a full pre-season under him and is one of the fittest guys at the club and plays hard inside footy. His ability to get hitouts receives from Jamar is amazing.
This is still an area where I feel that Melbourne struggle as I stated in this article. They have to wait for Jack Watts, who is 196cm, to develop.
They still struggle a little bit for key position players. Miller and Dunn have been in and out of the team who can play that role.
Melbourne also, rarely select a second ruckman due to the dominance of Jamar and the lack of other ruckman in form. This makes it hard for them to have another big man play in the forward line and stretch their defence.
Dean Bailey has been fairly good. I think he has proved that he can coach in patches. I think some of his moves, or non-moves have been telling though. At one stage Sylvia was in the ruck. He is 184cm, shorter than me. I cannot imagine for a second playing in the ruck even at amateur level at my height let alone at AFL level.
He still struggles to get a decent forward structure going because of the heavy zone defensive he has implemented. On the rebound sometimes Melbourne have to stop pressing forward because there is nobody there.
Best Performed Player
Brad Green – Can play forward and in the midfield. He has been consistent and productive. Two areas where Melbourne is a little bit deficient. Melbourne need goal kicking mids while they develop their forward line.
The Dees can still make the eight, but it would be fairly tough from here. They haven’t beaten anybody who is in the eight yet, even though they came close twice to beating Collingwood. I would expect Melbourne to win at least two more games and finish around 12th-14th.
You can find more of our AFL mid-season reviews here.