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Demons' chief has faith in future, club

By Roger Vaughan 22/03/2010 08:46:05 PM Comments (0)

Every AFL club president spruiks hope this time of year, but the sentiment has extra meaning when it comes from Melbourne's Jim Stynes.

Stynes was self-conscious when he fronted a media call at the MCG on Monday to promote Saturday's round-one clash against Hawthorn.

He was uncomfortable about having to read from notes, rather than talk off the cuff - a legacy of his ongoing cancer treatment.

But Stynes' hair is growing back and his mood was, as always, upbeat and incredibly positive.

He spoke of his dream to see his two young children turn 21 and for the Demons to win their first premiership since 1964.

Stynes also described his life-threatening disease as something that had helped him learn.

"Working with young people, I never thought I'd get to experience some of the experiences they've had," Stynes said of his well-known youth charity work.

"I always felt I didn't really deserve that right for them to work with me in the way they did.

"Now I've had this experience (cancer), it's amazing, you learn so much."

Stynes compared his cancer battle to the Demons, saying he has great faith about the future.

"Really, it is a privilege to get what I've got and then to deal with it and get on with it and be positive and believe that you can heal," Stynes said.

"It's the same thing with footy - do you really believe as a football club, we've been over 40 years without a premiership.

"Do our supporters really believe that we can win one? Well, I certainly do and it's the same with my healing.

"I certainly believe I'm going to get through this and I will be healed when the time is right."

Melbourne are calling this weekend their youth round and it will feature the senior debuts of their two top draft picks, Tom Scully and Jack Trengove, while James Strauss might also play his first game.

"It gives us hope and that's been the thing, for the last three years while we've been down the bottom of the ladder and trying to find it, we've found it through youth," Stynes said.

"It's a great thing and we'll have some of them for over 10-15 years and they'll become legends of our club.

"We want our supporters to come and barrack for them when they haven't got a name, when they're no-names."

Despite their pre-season injury woes, Melbourne are backing themselves against the Hawks, who will be without suspended star Lance Franklin.

But Stynes was careful not to talk up the Demons too much ahead of the game.

"What will be delivered, will be delivered," he said.

"Our boys will get in there and give it everything they've got.

"They did the same last year and we're just expecting a bit of improvement from everyone, to be a lot more competitive.

"The win-loss ratio will look after itself."

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