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Stynes has high hopes for his health

16/08/2009 05:23:45 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne AFL great Jim Stynes says he is optimistic about winning a fight against cancer so he can watch the Demons' re-emergence with his children.

Stynes, 43, said on Sunday he had had four tumours removed from his body and had gained some benefit from resting during a three-week family holiday in Thailand.

The Demons president and former champion player used a brief address at the lunch before the Melbourne-Fremantle game at the MCG to thank his family, support network and wellwishers.

He also could not resist giving a passionate declaration that his beloved club had a bright future despite its current last-placed status.

Stynes said his health was up and down, but Sunday was clearly an "up" day.

"I'm really positive with what I can do with the healing and all that. I've got some great people around me," he said.

"We've got it all out, I've had four different tumours taken out, so it's good to have them out of me.

"... I believe long-term, when I look back at it, this will be the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life.

"This is the great thing about what I'm going through because I get to look forward to something great, a lot of great things."

Typically, much of Stynes' focus was not on him but his club, and he was confident the Demons could wipe off their financial debt and improve dramatically on-field in the coming years.

He said the emergence of Melbourne's younger players would provide the club's young supporters - including his own children - with an exciting future.

"Imagine how exciting it's going to be for those kids (supporters) when they grow up and enjoy it," he said.

"All the shit they've copped at school and people hanging it on them because they're down the bottom, they're going to really be able to stick it up them in a few years.

"I've got a five-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl and I just can't wait because it's hard - 'When are we going to win, Dad?' - but we're going to win today and we're going to just slowly build it.

"Without getting the expectations too high, it's coming."

Before Stynes spoke, Melbourne screened a stirring highlights package of the first game the Demons played after their president revealed he was fighting cancer - the round-14 win over West Coast.

The highlights included coach Dean Bailey's pre-game address, when he spoke of what it meant to wear the Melbourne jumper, and his words to the huddle at three-quarter time, when he reminded his players Stynes was at home watching the game on television.

"What message do you want to send him today?" he roared.

After Melbourne beat Fremantle, Bailey said Stynes' presence had given the Demons a lift, although he did not address the players before the game.

"He gives a lift when he comes in and hopefully he'll be around the club," Bailey said.

"He'll probably been down doing weights at some stage during the week, Jimmy, knowing him.

"He'll be told to slow down again, but it's good to see him smiling."

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