Demons talking on-field improvement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons talking on-field improvement

By Roger Vaughan 04/02/2010 11:13:00 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's hierarchy are promising noticeable on-field improvement this season as the AFL cellar-dwellers work to rebound from a nightmare few years.

As the Demons continue to reduce their massive debt, coach Dean Bailey, president Jim Stynes and chief executive Cameron Schwab are bullish about a young team boosted by several early draft picks.

Stynes strongly backed Bailey at Thursday night's club annual general meeting and made reference to the strong media speculation last year that the Demons were "tanking" games in order to secure top draft selections.

Melbourne finished bottom for the second straight season and selected Tom Scully and Jack Trengove with the first two picks in last year's national draft.

"We've done the stabilising and now it's time to be competitive," Stynes said.

"We all hate coming here and watching us lose, but we love to see us compete and we love to see us win, particularly at this ground.

"We just know, this year, we're going to get better.

"He (Bailey) knows where we want to go and we're not going to be sidetracked ... it was the same last year, a lot of media getting into us - we know where we're going."

Stynes needed surgery last year after being diagnosed with cancer and the Demons legend still has a bald head as a result of his treatment.

While he looked thin, Stynes was in good spirits as he chaired the AGM at the MCG.

There was a buoyant mood at the meeting as several hundred Melbourne members listened to presentations from the club leadership.

Melbourne reported a net profit of $587,183.

The Demons have not won a premiership since 1964 and last played in the grand final in 2000, but Schwab has forecast a much more fruitful period ahead.

"We look at ourselves (in) the next 10 years as having the framework, the opportunity and prospect of having a great decade - a great decade as a team and a great decade as a club," he said.

"We're becoming the club that we always wanted to be, we're on track."

Bailey was short on specifics about team goals for this year, but described the pre-season as "exceptional".

"During the year, I reckon you're going to have a few smiles on your faces when you see some of your players go out on your ground - you'll be proud to say you're a Melbourne member," Bailey said.

The Demons also confirmed their new guernsey numbers, with Scully taking Ron Barassi's famous No.31 and Trengove to wear No.9, former captain David Neitz's old number.

Liam Jurrah will take over No.24 from another exciting Melbourne forward, Russell Robertson, who retired last season.

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