Fundraiser 'a major boost for Demons' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fundraiser 'a major boost for Demons'

By Robert Grant 07/08/2008 02:48:35 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's remarkable $2 million fundraiser will bolster the team's spirit against top side Geelong at the MCG on Friday night, according to coach Dean Bailey.

Bailey said the players had been given a glimpse of how important the club was to many people who pledged major donations to the `debt demolition' program.

"They love the footy club, they love Melbourne and they don't want to see where it is and they are convinced of what we're doing and the direction we're taking under (president) Jim Stynes," Bailey said.

"They were very united and I think the players have certainly got a feel for how important the club is to them and I think that just adds to tomorrow night.

"In that situation it can really unite clubs and it can really unite people outside the football club who may have been disconnected before to reconnect.

"There were a lot of people who were feeling like they really need to do this."

The last time the two sides met, in round three, Melbourne had come off two 100-point beatings, but put up unexpectedly strong resistance against the reigning premiers.

Bailey said since then the Demons, who are bottom of the AFL ladder with just two wins, have made incremental improvements.

And he said the performance was slowly improving to the point where the Demons could push stronger teams for longer periods.

"We showed (that) not only down at Geelong, but we were competitive for a good part of the game against Hawthorn at the MCG (in round nine)."

He said he had been trying to instil in the players the need to work hard over four quarters without concern for the final score.

"We've been really concentrating on the process of what we're trying to do and if that gets us the win or the results that's fantastic.

"If we look too far ahead and get caught up with what the scoreboard at the end of the game, we miss the elements that we're trying to teach, and educate our players," Bailey said.

"We need to make sure that when the scoreboard is close that we continue to work hard to stay in the game for longer periods of time.

"That next goal is really important and unfortunately opposition teams have been kicking that goal and the next goal as well so we've almost made it a little bit harder for ourselves."

Meanwhile Bailey said it was likely James McDonald or Cameron Bruce would lead the team next season, following the retirement of David Neitz.

"I think James McDonald and Cameron Bruce have done a fantastic job.

"Who or how we set up for next year, we'll determine that at the end of the year but James and Cameron have done a pretty good job in the absence of those blokes," he said.

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