Demons must follow Stynes lead, says Viney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons must follow Stynes lead, says Viney

By Roger Vaughan 02/08/2011 06:33:56 PM Comments (0)

Jim Stynes has inspired Garry Lyon and Todd Viney to help the embattled AFL club - now it's the players' turn to stand up.

Two days after the Demons sacked Dean Bailey and installed Viney, the new coach described this week as one of the most important in club history.

Melbourne are in crisis as they reel from Saturday's 31-goal loss to Geelong, the disaster that prompted Bailey's dismissal.

There are also persistent reports of internal division.

Then there is Stynes, their club president and an all-time hero of the club.

The Brownlow Medallist is battling cancer and was clearly struggling on Monday as he fronted a packed media conference.

Stynes personally asked Viney on Sunday night to take over as coach, only a few minutes after the president had phoned Bailey with the bad news.

Viney, also a former star Melbourne player and, until Sunday, in charge of their player development, said he has never wanted to be a career coach.

But he made it clear that Stynes' devotion to Melbourne helped prompt him to take on the interim role for the rest of the season.

Viney also called on the players to follow Stynes' lead.

"At the moment, you'd say he's the glue (of the club)," Viney said.

"We're all really concerned about Jimmy and I think it's just the ultimate respect he has for the club, that in this time of crisis - his own personal crisis - he's still willing to put himself on the line.

"He's setting a great example for me as a former player and the whole club. We need to follow his lead.

"Stress is the last thing he needs in his life with his illness, but he's prepared to put virtually his life on the line for the footy club.

"That's what we want from the players this week."

Viney said the Demons had to pull together as a club and start realising their potential.

"When the s..t hits the fan, that's when we need our best people standing up," Viney said.

"We're in a position that this week is the most important week in the history of the footy club for a long time."

Saturday's clash against third-placed Carlton at the MCG carried added significance even before the last few tumultuous days.

The Blues hammered Melbourne in round 10 and that prompted talk post-match that the Demons had played "bruise-free" football.

"Our intent will be on show this week. Certainly it wasn't there last week," Viney said.

Lyon said on Monday night he was also prepared to become involved at the club in a short-term role, adding he was also concerned at the toll the Demons' woes were having on Stynes.

But the high-profile AFL commentator has once more ruled out coaching the club, saying any involvement would be in a football administration capacity and only until the end of the season.

"If he (Stynes) wants me to help the footy club, then I'll help in the manner that I can," Lyon said.

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