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Jack Grimes and Nathan Jones to co-captain Melbourne

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Melbourne unveils duel captains

Nathan Jones joins incumbent Jack Grimes as joint skippers under new coach Paul Roos.

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As it begins afresh under co-captains Jack Grimes and Nathan Jones, Melbourne coach Paul Roos says the Demons must erase the ''scars'' of yesteryear before the team can truly transform.

The Demons won two matches last season and four in 2012, leading to the sacking of coach Mark Neeld in June. And since the start of the 2007 campaign, the club has won just 36 times, a sobering point club chief executive Peter Jackson made when appointing Roos in September.

Roos says one of his key objectives is to help restore the belief of the players.

Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes aim to help the Demons deliver this season.

Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes aim to help the Demons deliver this season. Photo: Wayne Taylor

''When you have struggled for a while, obviously there are a lot of scars when you get beaten - you only win two games and you lose 20,'' he said. ''And you have had a couple of bad years, there are some scars there, it's only human nature. That's our biggest challenge - to get some confidence and belief in each other.

''It has certainly evolved between the coaching staff and the playing group. I think there is some real confidence between those groups now but we haven't played against anyone at training.''

He then joked: ''We look good at training. We haven't played against anyone yet, other than the coaches, and they are pretty easy to get around.''

While that sparked a few laughs in the Demons' boardroom on Tuesday, it's clear the former Swans premiership coach will assume a serious demeanour if his players stray from the roles they are set. Roos has made his ''non-negotiables'' clear, with discipline a key aspect.

''The players would have an understanding of what my non-negotiables are. Certainly one of them is, if you want to get a game with us, you play your role - you understand what it is and then you play it,'' Roos said.

''It doesn't matter whether you are Nathan Jones or Jack Grimes. They need to be running out round one absolutely 100 per cent certain what their roles are, so if I can't get that across to them then I haven't done my job. But if I have done my job then you will get your games based on that.''

The Dees have worked hard on becoming match fit, as opposed to pure general fitness, with an emphasis on players being prepared to transition defensively when under pressure.

They must also improve in the midfield, where they were regularly crunched last season. In the past two years, they have averaged 23.5 fewer contested possessions than opponents, the largest differential Champion Data has recorded. They have also averaged 56.6 fewer uncontested possessions a match, also last in the league.

Jones said the players understood what Roos wanted and would work to ensure the game plan was implemented.

''I think in the past we have been through some pretty rough times but I think there is some real light at the end of the tunnel now,'' he said.

Grimes opted to remain in contention for the captaincy despite Jack Trengove, whom he shared the role with for two seasons, opting to stand down.

He said negotiating the difficulties of recent seasons would make him a better leader and he had enjoyed training under Roos.

''We can see the difference in training already, the difference in the intensity about how we go about our training and what the focuses are on training,'' he said.

''You will really see a change in the defensive side of our game. It was clear that we had to improve in a fair few areas from last year but a lot of the focus over the pre-season has been on nailing that defence and all the offence will come from there. That will be the main difference you will see this year.''

Roos said the players had picked the leadership group, which also includes Mitch Clark, James Frawley, Colin Garland and Trengove. But Roos said it had been the coaches and club board that had settled on the captains.

The Demons open their NAB Challenge against Richmond on February 14.

6 comments

  • At long last, a top coach, good recruiting for 2014, and two great people as club captains, it is already looking brighter on the horizon as we forward.....Go Dees

    Commenter
    Dee 4 Ever
    Date and time
    January 29, 2014, 3:52PM
    • ahh dee 4 ever, I feel the dee bandwagon might get rolling again, cancel your ski trip and portsea polo, cancel your private school kids weekend again, jump in the toorak tractor and get on the bandwagon...and don't forget to golf clap and boo like a true demon, oh and always pretend you know what you are talking about

      Commenter
      Jim
      Location
      Coburg
      Date and time
      January 29, 2014, 6:11PM
  • More Roos management speak. Melbourne supporters get used to it! He will spin and come out with it all year long. Standard M.O for him. Two captains is overload. We need one and a vice captain period. Jonesy has been great for us but seriously we don't need him to be co captain as well. If things don't pan out watch Roos start leaking management speak to cover his exit. We want action not double speak.

    Commenter
    demon
    Location
    prahran
    Date and time
    January 29, 2014, 3:54PM
    • @demon - Roos speaks like a manager because he is one. A real manager you may not have seen the likes of. What he brought to the Swans was unbelievable. His two assistants are top coaches now. The team has a very strong successful culture, full of honesty and self-awareness, which he played a very large role in. He never sacrificed the young kids the way the Ds have over recent years. He never bagged individuals to the press.
      The Melbourne board did a smart thing in hiring him, regardless of the 2014 results. He'll leave the team and footy department a lot stronger than he found it.

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Kiama
      Date and time
      January 29, 2014, 9:40PM
  • After years of getting almost every major decision, wrong the club seems to have made a series of excllent choices in the last few months. This is one of them.

    Dees will 8-10 games this year

    Commenter
    RFlower
    Date and time
    January 29, 2014, 4:13PM
    • Great news, I'm hearing all the right noises come out of the Demons camp. Id love to see them competitive again.
      PS - could you get a worse photo of Grimes?

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      January 29, 2014, 4:58PM
      Comments are now closed

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