Looking at their ins V outs and it looks like a net loss of talent. Sure they have brought in Billings, but he will not improve them at all. They were salty at not winning the GF and May said as much. There’s the rub. Win the GF? They weren’t even good enough to get there. They are starting the long slippery slide down the ladder. If Oliver doesn’t play all season, that slide will be all the quicker. They should still finish top 6.
They’ll make top 6 but theyre not challenging fkn anyone.
Be lucky to win a final, maybe if Essendon fall into 8th.
If they can sort out their forward 50 entries they are my premiership favorite.
I think they’re done.
Traded out Grundy, so there will be a drop off whenever Gawn isn’t rucking. Who will be 2nd ruck rotating forward? Brown/Fullarton already injured in preseason. JVR/McDonald/Schache?
If Oliver isn’t performing, their midfield looks a bit thin to me. They’ve spent the last few years just playing the same few names in there…now traded out midfield depth in Harmes/Jordon…Petracca/Viney are good but I’m unconvinced about Sparrow/Pickett/Brayshaw/Rivers.
Oh boy how much I would give to be unconvinced by 4 premiership players.
Shouldn’t Melksham be in the ‘outs’? I thought they delisted him?
It hurts my heart that the poor elite that support Melbourne outside of ski season didn’t get to see their one premiership in the last 50 years because of Dictator Dan and now they’ve wasted a generational list
Premierships are hard to win. They won one - so haven’t wasted a generational list IMO.
They played their best footy when Grundy was out as Gawn took over in ruck and they had more impactful forward line personnel
As for the the midfield outs, Harmes wasn’t getting many games as Brayshaw got put into the main mid mix. And Jordan has been replaced on a wing by their top draftee Windsor who is already impressing
Bailey Laurie is pushing up for midfield option, as is Taj Woewodin who debuted last season and they also traded in Billings
If Oliver is missing it absolutely hurts them however, he’s back in the fold for now though
I don’t see them dropping at all, they should have won their finals with dominance they had and they know it. they absolutely will still be in mix and will be desperate to atone IMO
Zero Hanger Best 23
FB: Judd McVee, Steven May, Adam Tomlinson
HB: Trent Rivers, Jake Lever, Angus Brayshaw
C: Ed Langdon, Clayton Oliver, Lachie Hunter
HF: Shane McAdam, Harrison Petty, Alex Neal-Bullen
FF: Kysaiah Pickett, Jacob van Rooyen, Bayley Fritsch
FO: Max Gawn, Christian Petracca, Jack Viney
I/C: Jake Bowey, Charlie Spargo, Tom Sparrow, Joel Smith
SUB: Kade Chandler
Also in the mix: Christian Salem, Daniel Turner, Taj Woewodin, Tom McDonald, Ben Brown, Koltyn Tholstrup, Matthew Jefferson
I don;'t understand these guys leaving Salem out???
Demons will be there abouts, just need a healthy list come finals and they are a chance.
If Olliver falls off the wagon, then they could have a down year and miss finals.
Pickett and Fritsch are key to them kicking a winning score, so need to get a full season out of both of them.
I think they still have enough quality to win enough games to make the top 8 and threaten the top 4.
Text messages offering to supply other Melbourne players with cocaine! Woah!
Sidenote: Good to see it’s Warner breaking these stories.
I guess he will never play AFL again.
Andrew Dillon thinking - “We’re gonna need a bigger rug”
For those without access:
Anti-doping investigators have accused [Melbourne footballer Joel Smith ]
Sport Integrity Australia officials have uncovered multiple text messages sent by Smith referencing cocaine, after reviewing his phone.
In one message sent to Demons teammates last year, he offered them a quantity of the drug, it is alleged.
This masthead has not confirmed how many Melbourne players the SMS was sent to, or the amount of cocaine offered.
Any attempt to supply a prohibited substance, even in small quantities, can be considered trafficking under national anti-doping regulations.
SIA has asserted to Smith that he has violated several anti-doping rules and asked him to respond by mid-March, before it delivers a finding.
The AFL is understood to be awaiting the outcome of the SIA probe before deciding whether to launch its own integrity unit investigation.
Allegations and evidence could also be referred to police.
Smith, 27, was already facing a suspension of two years after testing positive to cocaine on game day late last season.
He was initially hoping for a ban of three months after his positive urine sample was collected after the Demons defeated Hawthorn by 27 points at the MCG in round 23.
But the ramifications for Smith could now be much more serious, with a potential four-year ban mooted, while Melbourne also faces questions.
The AFL has been approached for comment, but had not responded by the time of publication. Smith’s management and legal teams declined to comment.
A SIA spokesman said the agency did not comment on “operational matters”.
One source close to the probe said Smith should not be “scapegoated” over what they asserted was a wider club issue.
“It looks like they are planning to hang Joel out to dry for behaviour that is commonplace at Melbourne,” the source said.
“It is not unusual for a group of young men who party together to share drugs. Joel might be foolish but he’s hardly Tony Mokbel.
“The club should be taking responsibility for what is happening to Joel instead of blaming him in order to cover up a much wider problem. Joel is not a bad apple in a barrel of clean ones – the whole joint is rotten.”
The latest of several off-field blows to Melbourne comes more than three years after former Melbourne president Glen Bartlett raised concerns with the club board about its culture.
Crisis talks were held with AFL commission chairman Richard Goyder and ex-league boss Gillon McLachlan, but Bartlett was forced out by the board in April 2021.
Long-time club doctor Zeeshan Arain was also shown the door by Melbourne after raising concerns.
Demons chief executive Gary Pert recently claimed the club’s culture was “the best I’ve seen in 40 years”.
His comment came amid significant concerns about Smith’s positive test and the behaviour of teammate Clayton Oliver.
Star midfielder Oliver recently avoided a criminal conviction after being caught driving while suspended. A court heard he had been suspended from driving after he was hospitalised for a seizure, but he had not opened the letter.
Bigger story would be an AFL player that hasn’t messaged his mates asking if they wanted to be hooked up lol.
His biggest mistake is using the old fashioned text message for such matters rather than Snapchat or similar
And realistically, if he doesn’t get popped on game day ASADA aren’t checking his phone and none of this sees the light of day.
True, but they could’ve had intel and then target tested him.