Resurgent Demons come full circle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Resurgent Demons come full circle

By Guy Hand 09/08/2010 02:14:02 PM Comments (0)

Just how genuine Melbourne's AFL resurgence is should become clear this weekend as they confront the opponents who inflicted their greatest embarrassment of the year.

The baby Demons have gone from being written off to written up as potential finalists - a far cry from a pitiful round-one performance where they were smashed in all facets by Hawthorn.

The Hawks' 56-point hammering of the Demons in March sparked questions about whether Melbourne's rebuilding program was doomed to failure.

A few months on, Melbourne have won four of their past five matches and are live chances to sneak into the finals for the first time since 2006.

Skipper James McDonald admits the MCG clash with Hawthorn on Sunday will be telling, though the Demons' belief that they can compete with good sides is growing along with the club's pool of talent.

"They (Hawthorn) have probably touched us up over the last two or three years," McDonald said.

"It is going to be a great challenge for us.

"Our boys are probably a lot more confident playing them this week than we have been in the past.

"I think it is more a belief in each other that we are good enough to play against these better sides."

Adding to the contest's importance is Hawthorn are eighth - two spots above the Dees - with the losers in dire danger of missing the finals for a second straight year since claiming the 2008 premiership.

For McDonald, a 33-year-old whose career looked likely to end helping mentor a side building towards better things after he had retired, the Demons' late-season surge offers perhaps one last opportunity for a taste of finals.

"I'd always hoped to (be there for the improvement) - obviously it's taken a while and that's the path they've chosen to go down," he said.

"We've invested a lot in our young players. All we can try to do is speed up the development of those players and hopefully I'm still there to enjoy some of the success.

"It is really good from an older player's perspective that we're starting to make some real improvements, and we're starting to get rewarded for that."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news