Luke Ball a good fit for Demons: Bailey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Luke Ball a good fit for Demons: Bailey

12/10/2009 05:02:51 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne will aim to lure disgruntled St Kilda midfielder Luke Ball to the AFL club with a run-down of the extensive changes the Demons have made on and off the field.

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey says he hopes Ball will be impressed by the potential of his young list and the prospect of growing with what he hopes will be an improving side.

But he said the biggest decision facing Ball was whether he wanted to play for the Demons.

Melbourne have first pick in the AFL pre-season draft, leaving them in prime position to recruit Ball, if he wants to move to the 2009 wooden spooners.

The former St Kilda captain was stymied in his attempts to move to Collingwood during trade week.

The Saints then withdrew a three-year contract offer to the midfielder.

Bailey and chief executive Cameron Schwab will do everything they can to impress Ball when the two parties meet in the next couple of weeks.

"Our last two years we've made a lot of changes within the footy club, from a football playing list but also from an administration point of view as well," Bailey said on Monday as the Demons began pre-season training.

"I'd like to think that all the changes we've made, we can now move into a more competitive environment now where we can start to grow our players, put games into our players.

"Luke's 25 so he's still got three or four years of good footy left at his premium level.

"And I'd like to think that in two or three years' time we'd be competing fairly hard to starting to break even with our ledger and I think he could help us do that."

If Melbourne secured the 25-year-old Ball, Bailey said he would still need to prove himself as a player.

"His performance is going to determine how big a get he is I suppose," Bailey said.

"He would be a nice fit into a young, developing midfield, I think that's fair to say.

"He'd bring some good qualities to our group so that would be a fantastic opportunity for us."

However Bailey was not convinced the Saints had waved farewell to Ball just yet.

"I'm assuming he won't want to go back to St Kilda for a start, (but) I would think the St Kilda football club would be working pretty hard to try to maintain him as a player," Bailey said.

The Demons have four picks in the top 18 in next month's national draft but they will be reserved for young players, even if Ball decides to nominate for both drafts.

"Certainly (picks) one, two, 11 and 18, we're going to be picking some young players," Bailey said.

"It's whether 34 comes into the equation or maybe 50 - I don't think he's going to be there at 50. It's whether we use 34."

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