NSW Demons Meeting with Don McLardy

April 12, 2013 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

by Hardtack

On the evening of Friday the 5th April, we were treated to an informal presentation by the incumbent MFC President Don McLardy, in company with Vice President Guy Jalland and Kelly O’Donnell (recruiting and pro-scouting). Also in attendance were members of the Cordner clan and former Demons player Kevin Dyson.

In a brief update prior to which he insisted no questions would be off limits, but discretion should be exercised if discussing the matters raised, outside “these walls”, Don began by stating the bleeding obvious: it has been an interesting couple of weeks handling questions regarding where the club is going, how the club is a disaster, how many supporters have expressed their readiness to simply give up and so on. He agreed that in terms of premierships since our last in 1964 we have been a disaster, but stressed that in that time there have been 13 to 15 different regimes and many unusual issues to deal with; for example, since he and the group came to the club, debt as well as new teams coming into AFL creating a changing landscape, have been at the forefront.

The first task was to make the club financially viable and with the debt demolition and the merging with the Bentleigh club, we have managed to break even in recent years; however, the recently incurred $500k is obviously going to have a major impact and hence we are in for a challenging next couple of years; he stated that this year it would be difficult to break even. Don went on to say that we are very involved in equalisation discussions with the AFL and other clubs and that these discussions have generated a new level of respect between the clubs as they all come to the realisation that they each have their own unique problems that need to be addressed.

Two years ago the club undertook to rebuild all areas of the football department from top to bottom. In the first year we saw a complete overhaul of the coaching department and now we have had a clean out of the playing list – there was a strategic choice to move from a certain type of player. As a regular attendee of training and as someone who spends a lot of time with player leadership group, Don couldn’t detect any issues with culture and believes the club is absolutely on the right track. Fitness levels are great and it is considered that we should take a significant step this year.

Sunday against Port was completely unacceptable and there is no easy answer as to why it happened… without the benefit of knowing what was to unfold on Saturday evening against Essendon, Don said that he knows we are not nearly as bad as we showed against Port and that we will definitely respond positively to that performance; we are hell bent on being a competitive unit, and a repeat of what happened against Port will never happen again… he was sure about that.

John Cordner also spoke: “Can I tell a story? In 1951 I played and we won three games, we were bottom… three years earlier we were premiers, but in 1951, we won three. And in 1955 we won the premiership… and the fact is you can turn the thing around. Yeah! You’ve got to find a good reason, it’s a different business now… but it all goes back to the fact that from bottom to top in five years, it can be done.”
Don then closed on a more positive note sharing his excitement over Jack Viney and Jack Grimes.

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