'Competitive' the buzz word for Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Competitive' the buzz word for Demons

By Adam Cooper 23/03/2009 06:29:57 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey believes his AFL side has improved, but warns the theme he continues to push will soon become boring.

Well-known for his love of the word 'competitive', Bailey made no apology on Monday for again insisting that is the promised land for the Demons to aspire to as they look to make amends for a dreadful 2008, which yielded only three wins.

"The season last year was, whatever word you want to use, it was embarrassing in some of the games we played," he said.

"'Competitive' is going to be a word you're going to get sick of me saying and I'll keep at it and at it because it's important for our players and our members and our future members to know that we must be competitive.

"We're further advanced than last year, but if you analyse what we've done maybe because we were 16th, maybe we're catching up to the teams that are above us.

"The games will determine how far we've come ... and I think from what we've done, we're closer to playing competitive four quarters than at any stage last year."

Sunday's game against North Melbourne is a pivotal one for the Demons given the way they began last season, when they were walloped by 104 points by Hawthorn.

That was one of seven games where the losing margin surpassed 75 points, but Bailey was hopeful Melbourne had addressed the areas where they were so inept.

"We expect that we'll be in the game for longer, I don't expect us to have long periods of the game where teams are kicking consecutive goals like last year," he said.

"We like to think of last year as being dead and buried.

"The things we've worked on are fitness and our skill and our decision-making a lot over pre-season.

"We've put a lot of time into it and over the NAB Cup we've probably been OK at it, but the home and away games are what it's all about."

Melbourne are hopeful defender Jared Rivers can push for a spot to play the Kangaroos and end a run of two frustrating years, where osteitis pubis, hip and groin complaints kept him to nine games.

Bailey said midfielder Colin Sylvia, who was suspended for one of the practice games for missing a recovery session earlier this month, would have to train well this week to earn selection.

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