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Dees dump big names

Date

Martin Blake and Matt Murnane

AFL Round 9 Click for more photos

2012 AFL Round 9 Teams

2012 AFL Round 9 Teams 

MELBOURNE coach Mark Neeld last night reacted savagely to the 101-point defeat in Sydney, dumping veteran Aaron Davey, highly rated midfielder Colin Sylvia and No. 4 draft pick Cale Morton for Sunday's clash with Carlton at the MCG.

The Demons also lost Liam Jurrah to injury from the team humiliated in Sydney, and with seven ''ins'' listed on the team sheet, another three could be gone as the fallout from a catastrophic 0-8 start continues.

Neeld called the SCG thrashing ''unacceptable'', and last night followed through on his threat to make changes.

The careers of Davey, the 2009 best and fairest, and Sylvia are at a flashpoint today after poor starts to the season. Sylvia is suffering from a delayed start because of injury. Melbourne's affiliate VFL club, Casey, does not have a match this weekend, so the players will sit out all football.

Among the seven players picked as potential replacements is untried defender Troy Davis, 19, from Geelong Falcons.

Neeld yesterday reiterated his stance that the changes at Melbourne would take time, and he won support from Richmond coach Damien Hardwick. The Tigers' mentor recalled that his start to his coaching career was numerically worse than Neeld's. Richmond lost nine straight under Hardwick at the beginning of 2010 before making a late rally.

''He knows what he is trying to do - you can see the pieces of the puzzle coming together slowly,'' Hardwick said. ''We're just now better at having that good play going for a sustained period of time.

''Having known Mark, he is very solid in his philosophies on footy. No doubt it will eventually turn; it just takes time. It does take time for a playing group to get the game plan they are trying to implement. We were 0-9 and in exactly the same situation, but I think after that we won five or six of the next 11 games.

''They are, at stages, playing some good footy and at stages they are not playing as well as what they would like. But they'll hang in there, they'll hang tough. They've got some good players, and they'll get the job done sooner rather than later.

''He is very thorough in what he does. He'll continue on his path and won't deviate from his plan. And that's what will get the job done for him, much like it has happened for us. We've taken a good 2½ to three years to get where we are now and we are still not there. It does take a large amount of time to get where you need to go.''

Neeld, hired after a successful stretch as an assistant coach to Mick Malthouse at Collingwood, has had a tumultuous start to his career as a head coach, with one

analyst suggesting his appointment was a ''disaster''. But few AFL head coaches do not make it to the end of their first season. (Malcolm Blight was the most recent to be cut, at St Kilda in 2001.)

Neeld said yesterday his coaching staff and the playing group had held ''confronting discussions'' this week and the major changes he was introducing needed more time to bed down. ''We're eight weeks into what's going to be a long journey, if that's the right term,'' he said.

Neeld said longer-term thinking was required. ''You guys [the media] get to analyse every Saturday what is a short-term result. We're certainly focusing on the performances on the weekend, but what we're focusing on is behaviours and actions which are going to lead to change.

''If we jump from scoreboard to scoreboard and make short-term reactions, the chances of having sustained change for the better diminish.''

Meanwhile, the Blues have named ruckman Robbie Warnock for his first game of the season after recovering from a hamstring injury. Like Melbourne, the Blues went hard at the selection table, dropping Jordan Russell and Bret Thornton, with the possibility that more will go when the teams are finalised tonight.

17 comments

  • descibing David King as an analyst is very generous, he analyses the way he played: all or nothing. He has a very short football memory - obviously he has forgotten the way the Hawks were when Alastair Clarkson took over and changed their game plan - "ring a rosey" was the term often used to describe the high possession game they began to utilize - 3 years later they won a premiership... for 2 years they were criticized endlessly for the game style and plan. those of us with any sort of memory would be mindful of where clarkson had been prior to the hawks - yep he was at Port Adelaide as an assistnat coach where he helped them win a premiership in 2004 with a you guessed it "high possession" game plan
    David King is a blonk and will deposited in the dustbin of history as someone who cannot learn because he doesn't bother to do any research.

    Commenter
    stephen
    Location
    geelong
    Date and time
    May 25, 2012, 8:25AM
    • Big names?

      Aaron Davey, Colin Sylvia and Cale Morton

      LOL

      Commenter
      Alex
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      May 25, 2012, 9:08AM
      • Interesting comments from Hardwicke - just emphasises the lack of real football analysis and research by so many of those who have bagged Melbourne mercilessly this week. Clearly the situation is not hopeless, as one writer has suggested, and I remain full of hope and optimism about the future. On and interesting sidelight, who can recall Leigh Matthews taking a cheap shot at Melbourne over its recruiting of Mitch Clark. he asserted that Ben Hudson would prove much better value for the Lions than Clark would for the Demons.. the question is: Where is Ben Hudson. He is not on the Lions' injury list online and not in the team this week. Compare that with Mitch Clark's outstanding performances for the Demons so far. Waiting for a retraction and apology Leigh.

        Commenter
        Tassie Dee
        Location
        Hobart
        Date and time
        May 25, 2012, 9:41AM
        • Better "value" means output per dollar spent. The Lions didn't spend a fortune on Hudson (how much is Clark on again?) and Hudson is averaging more disposals, clearances, hit-outs and tackles per game than Clark. Matthews was emphasising that Melbourne had paid way over the odds to Mitch Clark. Close to a $1mill per year for just over 12 disposals a game seems pretty steep to me. Brisbane could have recruited 5 to 7 Hudsons for the price of Clark, and they got Billy Longer at pick no. 5 in the draft as well. I think Matthews is on the ball with this one.

          Commenter
          Ross
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          May 25, 2012, 12:29PM
      • neeld drops players but still no couch who is by far their best player and consistantly best on ground in the vfl and cannot get a game in a side that does not get anywhere near close to winning a game,why???? is melbourne tanking again ??? maybe its true what most people are saying about him, that he doesnt know what he is doing, obviously player form is not his guide line, other wise couch would have been tried and playing by now

        Commenter
        tassiehawk
        Date and time
        May 25, 2012, 11:00AM
        • Totally agree and would love him in the team, but Tom Couch is on the rookie list, so no call up possible.

          Commenter
          panthy
          Location
          Demonland (its a dark and lonely place)
          Date and time
          May 25, 2012, 12:26PM
      • I have to agree with Tassiehawk.

        How can Tom Couch consistently be denied a game in this awful side. What more does he have to do???

        Neeld not doing himself any favours. It's pretty simple - pick someone who has a crack and is in form in the twos.

        Commenter
        Captain Obvious
        Date and time
        May 25, 2012, 11:12AM
        • About time Cale Morton was dropped. Worst #4 draft pick of ALL TIME!

          Commenter
          Better Than Morton
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          May 25, 2012, 11:15AM
          • Carlton's recruiting just might pip the worst #4; the only player worth his No.1 status is Murphy and now he's gone. Gibbs**, Kruezer, Russell**, Bower*, Hampson, McLean***, Yarran**, Lucas* all first round draft picks; which one would get a game at West Coast or Collingwood? My guess would be only Murphy!

            Commenter
            Toughnup
            Date and time
            May 25, 2012, 1:57PM
        • Demons should have traded Davey several years ago. Flashes of brilliance and long quiet periods.

          Commenter
          Aaron
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          May 25, 2012, 11:41AM

          More comments

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