Time for Dee-vival


The Melbourne Football Club have made regularheadlines throughout 2011, but no bigger than the controversial sacking of coach Dean Bailey on August 1, following the club’s 186 point loss to Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

It was an extraordinary sequence of events, given CEO Cameron Schwab was reportedly going to sacked and Bailey was going to coach out the rest of the season.

The club acted out of emotion and made a big blue in sacking their coach of 3 years, barely giving him an opportunity to build this proud club that has been down and out for so long.

Melbourne need to send Football Manager Chris Connolly and Schwab on their way because they have interfered with on-field performance and wanting to coach the team more than what their roles actually suggest. Let’s not forget that Connolly lost the coaching job to Bailey 3 years ago.

Garry Lyon stepped in as interim Football Director on August 5 and will lead a charge to firstly appoint the new coach for 2012.

After that, Lyon needs to secure a full time Football Director.

He is the perfect man for the job, given he is a former club captain and knows exactly what and how things need to be done, but he is unlikely to commit to such a high profile role full time due to his media work with Channel 9, Triple M and as a columnist with The Age.

Melbourne must go and get the best coach available.

Don’t get an untried coach, they’ve gone that path and it didn’t work.

Mick Malthouse should be at the top of their list. Forget that Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has threatened legal action and go get the best coach for the Melbourne footy club.

Let’s not forget that Collingwood poached Malthouse when he still was contracted as coach of the West Coast Eagles in 1999.

Melbourne needs an experienced coach of substance and a good track record of success to come in, rattle the cage and tip the Melbourne footy club upside down, from the top to the bottom.

Who should Melbourne appoint as it’s next coach?

1. Mick Malthouse (Coll) – premiership coach with WCE and Collingwood, has hard edge and brings rigid game plan.

2. Rodney Eade (WB) – experienced coach with Sydney and the Bulldogs, master of building and developing lists and has a proven track record but all will depend on contract talks with Dogs.

3. Alastair Clarkson (Haw) – 2008 premiership coach with Hawthorn may be tempted by his former club but would need a big 5 year contract with plenty of dollars to lure across from Waverley Park.

4. Gary Ayres (Geel/Adel/Ess ass./Port Melb) – big chance to coach again after fourth year in charge at VFL club Port Melbourne with past successes at Geelong and Adelaide, master of developing a list and instilling discipline with a structured game plan.

5. Dean Laidley (Nth Melb/Port Adel ass.) – developed North Melbourne post Pagan era, highly rated as an assistant at Port Adelaide and for his earlier work with Malthouse at Collingwood.

The Demons’ best hope will be out of Rodney Eade, Gary Ayres and Dean Laidley due to the unlikelihood of Malthouse and Clarkson shifting.

That said, Melbourne must go find out where Malthouse and Clarkson are at before they rule them out.

The great, successful coaches like Malcolm Blight (Adelaide/Geelong), Mick Malthouse (WCE/Collingwood), Kevin Sheedy (Essendon/GWS) and Denis Pagan (North Melb/Carlton) have all come into their respective clubs, rattled the cage and turned the list over. This is exactly what Melbourne needs.

The Demons need to be active in this year’s trade period.

They need to offer up some names, see what responses from opposing clubs they’ll receive but only make trades that will give them currency and quality coming back the other way.

Melbourne’s trade bait

1. Cale Morton – high draft pick who boasts alot of talent but has struggled in recent times

2. Ricky Petterd – handy utility who can play anywhere, tough call but this kid has currency

3. Matthew Bate – key forward who has struggled with consistency and senior opportunities, a change of scenery could bring the best out of him

4. Lynden Dunn – a very handy tall utility who has filled many roles with success but it’s time to move him on

Add in another high draft pick in Colin Sylvia and the talented Jamie Bennell and the Demons finally have some currency on the trade table to gain quality back in return.

Dees on the chopping block

1. Michael Newton – has had long enough to prove himself but injuries, form and consistency have plagued the tall forward’s output

2. Clint Bartram – is a solid midfielder who goes hard but lack of competitiveness when it matters goes against him, time to go

3. Addam Maric – clever small forward in and out of the team, consistency is an ongoing issue

4. Joel Macdonald – serviceable player for Demons in defense since crossing from the Lions but the priority for youth sees him pushed out

Tough calls need to made on the Melbourne playing list and an experienced coach will certainly do that. They need to clear the blocks, bring in some fresh new talent and regenerate the playing group.

Tom Scully, will he or won’t he?

The question nobody knows the answer to needs to resolved, and quickly.

The Demons need to get the Scully camp together and leave with a definitive answer.

If he’s going, don’t play him, move on building the footy club but if he’s staying, quickly re-sign him and keep building this footy club.

The one other thing the Demons must do is appoint a new captain for 2012.

There’s been a huge gap in leadership at Melbourne for a long time.

Garry Lyon and David Neitz bled for the footy club and the one criticism I have of the footy club is that they’re aren’t enough natural born leaders.

I applaud Brad Green for is efforts as captain in the past couple years which have been in trying times but it’s time for a fresh start.

Green has struggled this year in particular, juggling match performance and leading the footy club on and off the field – not an easy job.

Wayne Carey was just 21 when appointed captain at North Melbourne, Jack Trengove and Jack Grimes should be next in line.

Bold call but this footy club badly needs strong willed leaders who will bleed for the footy club and lead them out of the “dungeon” for where they’ve been for too long.


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