Bailey wants to develop great AFL side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bailey wants to develop great AFL side

By Roger Vaughan 04/05/2009 11:25:33 AM Comments (0)

Dean Bailey became Melbourne coach to develop a great AFL side, not suffer through honourable losses.

So midway through his post-match media conference on Sunday, as he lauded captain James McDonald for his strong tagging job on Geelong star Gary Ablett, Bailey suddenly changed the subject.

"We still lost the game, though - all these really nice questions, but we still lost the game," he said.

"Our competitiveness was there, which is what we're after, but I reckon I would have liked to have seen some of those opportunities we created turn into something.

"If I was a Melbourne member or supporter watching today, they're thinking the same thing - the effort is there, the competitiveness is there, but that last kick inside 50, which we've been really trying to hone in on at training - we need to get that better."

For all the positives, and the platitudes from the media, there were two sobering aspects to the Demons' 43-point loss to the unbeaten Cats at the MCG.

As Bailey noted, their skills continually let them down when they were trying to attack.

At the other end, Geelong's inaccuracy continued with 15.22 - turn that scoreline around and the assessment of Melbourne is nowhere near as kind.

"There are good signs in the game - I can't really question any of our players with their endeavour today," Bailey said.

"They're still working really hard and they're committed to each other, which is terrific - if we can build on that, we're moving forward.

"The only frustration comes from when you see the players work really hard off the football to win it and then there's a skill error under low pressure that costs us.

"You can see all the work that's gone into winning the ball back and then when you see it turn over ... then obviously Geelong sweep it up and they show you what you do if you do turn it over.

"That's the only disappointing thing."

He was particularly encouraged that Melbourne maintained their effort to the end and managed to win the final quarter.

Young defender James Frawley was best for the Demons, while McDonald again impressed.

"He's a very determined bloke, 'Junior' - he punches above his weight all the time," Bailey said of McDonald.

Melbourne key forward Russell Robertson also kicked three goals in his first AFL game since round 10 last season, when he suffered an Achilles tendon injury.

"It was just good to see 'Robbo' back today ...it's probably a good game for him to get out of the way so he can get on with the rest of the year," Bailey said.

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