Demons thrill, says Blues boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons thrill, says Blues boss

By Robert Grant 01/06/2010 03:35:35 PM Comments (0)

"Exciting" is not a description that has been applied to last year's AFL wooden-spooner Melbourne for quite a while.

But Carlton coach Brett Ratten was prepared to use the tag freely when looking ahead to Saturday's clash between the two sides at the MCG.

After two seasons languishing at the bottom of the table the Demons could be regarded in some sense as the surprise package of 2010.

Heading into the halfway mark of the year they have already won as many games (four) as they did in all of 2009 and more than their total for the year before.

Melbourne also were desperately unlucky to lose games against Collingwood (by one point) and the Western Bulldogs.

They lost to Geelong last week after choosing to rest young gun midfielders Tom Scully and Jack Trengove, rather than have their bodies and confidence battered.

Ratten, though, is impressed by Melbourne's resurgence and warns this weekend's game will be critical.

"I've seen Melbourne a few times and they're really exciting," Ratten said on Tuesday.

"Geelong are a fantastic team, big-bodied and probably didn't allow them to really get their game fully going.

"But they are really exciting, especially when you think that Trengove and Scully have got to come back into that team.

"They're growing as a team. I think that the experience they have with (Brad) Green, who's in fantastic form ... (Aaron) Davey's 27, 28 years of age ... (Brad) Miller's playing good football ... (Cameron) Bruce, I have been involved with and know how he prepares and plays.

"So they've got a really good balance of experience and their youth. I think they've got the combination really going well."

Ratten said Melbourne now had a totally different presence to the Demons of 12 months ago.

"I think you've seen how they use the ball, their ability to run and spread is pretty exciting.

"I think their forward line, with (Colin) Sylvia, (Matthew) Bate, Green when he's down there, Davey, it makes it really interesting.

"(Former No.1 draft pick Jack) Watts has come in and shown he is starting to grab the game by the scruff of the neck in patches, so we'll have our hands full."

Ratten said Carlton's long-term aim this season was to "keep our heads above the water" with a positive win-loss line.

He admitted that in the recent past looking too far ahead had been a problem and the team was now focused solely on the game ahead.

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