A review of last year and the off season

March 25, 2011 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

The time has almost come!!….The time is almost here!!….Not that I am counting or anything but by the time the ball is first bounced in anger it will be 302,190 minutes (or 18,131,410 seconds to be precise) since we have last seen our beloved Demons run around for premiership points. I don’t know about you but I feel like the children of Jeanne Calment (who had the longest confirmed lifespan in history, living to the age of 122 years, 164 days (44724 days total)) – waiting for their inheritance to come through.  The debacle that was the Ashes series is now just another page in the Wisden analogues and the 2011 AFL series is upon us!

Not that the off season hasn’t failed to provide us diehard fans with some respite over the past few months. Let’s look at some of the highlights….

  • The first AFL team to win in China on the back of LJs brilliance
  • Our first win(s) in Adelaide since Jesus Christ told his followers that he was going to visit Dad and would be back in a few days
  • No doubt The Clash’s hit ‘Should I stay or should I go’ is one of Tom Scully’s favourite IPod’s song as he weighs up the merits of become a billionaire before his 25th birthday or playing in a premiership with the Demons.
  • Brad Green nominated as our new Captain.
  • News that big Jimma is feeling better than ever as he continues his courageous fight with cancer
  • The return of one of our prodigal sons in Todd Viney to MFC ranks (and the added bonus that his son has also declared his allegiances to our Club)
  • Two All Australian in James Frawley and Mark Jamar with Brad Green desperately unlucky not to also get a nod
  • Jack Watts, Neville Jetta, Addam Maric and Jack Grimes amongst the players to impress in the NAB cup and pre- season games.


Now we look ahead to the 2011 season with much anticipation.   Our young developing players have another pre season under their belt and with some shrewd picks in the AFL Draft we have every reason to enter this season with much optimism.

Two areas of focus during the off season by the club would be our ability to ‘press’ and deal with an opposition ‘press’.  Just look at these stats below from last season:

  • Melbourne was the 2nd worst team in the league last year at converting turnovers to score. We set up our defense a long way from goal, gaining 38.9% of our turnovers in the defensive 50 and 73.2% in the defensive half – clearly the most of any team
  • The Dees gave the opposition 25.0 forward turnovers per game – the most of any club. However just 36.1% of these were punished with opposition scores – ranked 5th.
  • For the 4th consecutive year, Melbourne finished the season with the worst differential in the competition for time spent in the forward half.  Last year it was -:7:29mins, nearly a minute and a half worse than the next lowest team.

So, not only did we not “press” when they have the ball (instead we sag back a long way behind the ball) but we were unable to deal with the opposition ‘press’ when we had the ball!

If we are planning to play finals this year (there I said the ‘F’ word!) these stats need to improve and I am confident that this year we have the game plan, the caliber of players and right people in our brains trust to accomplish this ambition.

Darren Spence


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