The Paul Roos / Melbourne media conference has drawn to a close ...
The main points:
- Paul Roos is the new coach of the troubled club, agreeing to a two-year deal. The 2005 Sydney premiership coach has been out of senior coaching for the past three seasons since stepping down from the Swans at the end of 2010.
- Roos will coach the club for at least two seasons, before another coach takes the reins in a succession plan drawn up by the club. Succession plans are becoming increasingly popular in the AFL. A similar plan took place at Sydney when Roos stepped down and was replaced by senior assistant John Longmire. Longmire guided the Swans to the premiership last season.
- Roos and Melbourne chief executive Peter Jackson are yet to announce the appointments of the assistant coaches to Roos, but they are expecting 'plenty of quality applicants'.
- Roos met the club's senior players last week and says he came away impressed. The new coach has made the task of re-signing key players, including Jack Watts, his immediate priorities.
- The new coach stresses the Demons were better than they’d showed during the 2013 season. His aim is to make them a competitive team. "They’re certainly not sugar-coating it - I know what I’m coming into. I know it’s going to be a very difficult job," Roos said. ‘‘They’re a two-win team and 56 per cent - I think they’re a better team than that. ‘We need to get competitive - 56 per cent is an unacceptable percentage."
Paul Roos is unveiled as the new coach of the Melbourne Football Club. Photo: Angela Wylie
Here comes the sales pitch ...
"Get on board. It's exciting," Roos says, in some of his closing comments.
"I'm 100 per cent committed, for at least the next two years
"We're going to have a significant change in game style .... it's going to be a significant change for them (the playing group).
"It will eventually be successful."
Roos confirms he'd be happy 'philosophically' to trade the club's No.2 draft selection. He clearly wants to get some talent back into the club. Immediately. It's going to make for a pretty interesting trade period.
Just to reiterate .... Paul Roos' assistants haven't been confirmed. "We expect to get some decent applicants," Jackson says.
Roos says he didn't confirm his appointment with Melbourne until yesterday.
The new coach explains that he's a big fan of the programs available from Leading Teams.
.... seems the Demons may be set for some 360-degree feedback sessions. Could be interesting.
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Peter Jackson believes there is plenty of excitement around Melbourne with the appointment of Roos. He says that started when it emerged Roos was merely '50-50' for the role. The CEO says that has since exploded.
"The excitement this morning is beyond belief," Jackson said.
Make no mistake, the future of Jack Watts is high on the list on Roos' new whiteboard. The new coach said he would try and sit down to talk with the one-time No.1 draft pick, as early as today.
"I'll sit down with Jack and give him a role ...."
The immediate thoughts from Rohan Connolly:
Roos a real coup for Melbourne, congrats to Jackson and co. Next 2 years will be great test of whether a coach makes players or vice versa.— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) September 6, 2013
The issue of whether Melbourne deserves a priority draft pick is now firmly on the agenda at the media conference. Roos says he clearly wants one, and is starting to argue that the club deserves one. That is a stance also being maintained by Peter Jackson. The interim CEO says the penalties imposed on Melbourne for tanking earlier this year may 'cloud' the issue.
"We understand that, we get it," Jackson says.
"You do the investigation on this club's performance over the last four-seven years," Jackson tells the assembled media.
"We've been a drag on the competition."
Just backtracking for a moment .... Paul Roos explains that initially not been interested in returning to senior coaching when new Demons chief executive Peter Jackson spoke to him 12 weeks ago.
But his mood changed when Jackson put to him the prospect of being the senior coach, with a firm succession plan in which an upwardly mobile assistant would eventually take over.
"One of the turning points was when Peter came to me and asked ’would you be interested in heading the organisation, then handing it over to someone else?’’’ Roos said.
"That really sparked the interest. I’m extremely, extremely excited about being introduced as the Melbourne coach.
"I’m really looking forward to setting a direction for the players and the football club, and setting some really high standards.’’
The new Melbourne coach says he simply wants the club to become competitive. Roos confirms he has already met plenty of the playing group and has told them they're a better team that what this season's results would suggest.
Roos stresses that he's excited by his appointment, in full knowledge that it's only a short-term role.
"If someone else takes the glory (down the track), that's fine by me."
"A couple of priorities are (re-contracting) Col Sylvia and Jack Watts. I really want them to stay," Roos says.
Paul Roos. Photo: Getty Images
Succession plans are all the vogue, hey? Fascinating that a new coach takes the reins, knowing that at some point he'll hand over the responsibility. It only goes to elder statesmen in the game. Sheeds? Malthouse (well, that didn't quite work, did it?)
Paul Roos in action against North Melbourne at Princes Park. Photo: Vince Caligiuri
Roos, 50, had a stellar playing career playing in the VFL/AFL, featuring in 356 matches for Fitzroy and the Swans. ‘‘We’re absolutely delighted Paul has agreed to this role for at least the next two years,’’ Demons chairman Glen Bartlett said.
One of the significant points about the appointment is the confirmation that there will be a succession plan.
"There boys will know over the next five to seven years, who their senior coach will be. It will be me and then someone else. That was something that really appealed to me .... doing the yard hards."
Jackson: There's no better man to build the right culture at this club than Paul Roos. — Melbourne FC (@melbournefc) September 6, 2013
Roos says his assistants at Melbourne haven't yet been confirmed. CEO Peter Jackson confirms the terms for the appointment - a two-year contract with the option of a one-year extension.
"I was never going to get him if we were talking about a five-year situation," Jackson says.
"I can't wait to get started."
Roos says the Demons certainly haven't 'sugar-coated' the situation the club is currently in.
Roos says the fact that his former fitness boss, Dave Misson, is already employed at the Demons, was significant.
"I'm extremely, extremely excited to be confirmed as the Melbourne coach."
Paul Roos is facing the media. Straight away to moves to clarify the background to his appointment. He says he was approached about 12 weeks ago.
All the speculation has been confirmed. Jon Pierik reports that Melbourne has completed a coaching coup, with Paul Roos to lead the club for at least the next two seasons.
The Demons confirmed the appointment of Roos on Friday morning. Roos, 50, has signed for two years, and has an option for a third. It's understood he will paid more than $1.5 million a season.