Demons shopping for quality kickers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons shopping for quality kickers

By Guy Hand 22/08/2009 06:48:50 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey has put quality kickers on his recruiting wishlist as the Demons hurtle towards the wooden spoon and a double dip at the top of the AFL national draft.

Melbourne's 57-point beating by Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday has virtually locked in the Dees to secure the two best under-18 players in the country at the upcoming draft.

Unless they beat rampant St Kilda next weekend in what would be the upset of the decade, the Demons will finish bottom and with 16 points or less for the second consecutive year.

That would unlock the top two draft selections for the Demons under the priority pick system.

And that could be priceless in what will be the last uncompromised draft before the Gold Coast and the new western Sydney team get first crack at Australia's best young players for the next two years at least.

Bailey said the Demons were aiming to secure quality kickers in the draft, identifying kicking efficiency and getting the ball inside attacking 50-metres as his side's most glaring weakness, as well as the key to success in modern AFL.

"The game is becoming so kicking-dominant," Bailey said.

"If you've got an efficient kicking side and you've got a number of good kicks, it'll help in our situation.

"It'll help us kick inside 50, it'll help kick inside the arcs, and in today's game that is so important.

"The guys who can kick well through the middle of the ground, the game seems to open up and they're generally really creative kicks.

"We're not a massive kick-inside 50 team this year, and if we can improve in that area, that's going to be important for our forwards and for our ball movement."

Veteran Demons forward Russell Robertson, who has been shown the door for next season, put himself in the shop window for clubs interested in prolonging his AFL career with a five-goal haul against Carlton.

But Bailey defended his decision to let the 30-year-old go at season's end, saying grooming the Demons' young forwards was paramount.

"They need to play games with each other so they get that experience, that time of playing together," Bailey said.

"Russell's keen to get an opportunity somewhere else, and if he does, he'll deserve it. He was good today."

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