Defensive focus: Paul Roos watches training.

Defensive focus: Paul Roos watches training. Photo: Getty Images

New Melbourne coach Paul Roos has already made it clear what he expects of his players in terms of defence.

Roos unveiled his game plan at a recent training camp in Sorrento, with the former Swans coach determined to implement key parts of the plan which helped Sydney to a premiership and into back-to-back grand finals.

Former Demons captain Jack Trengove said Roos was big on contested football. ''He loves that, and tackling, and a lot about the defensive transition and stuff like that,'' he said. ''In saying that, I am sure you guys [the media] will pick it apart once we start. I am just looking forward to getting started.''

In a horrendous year in which Mark Neeld was sacked and Neil Craig was made interim coach, the Demons ranked last in contested football, averaging 24 fewer per game than their rivals, and ranked only 11th for tackling, averaging 61 per game, despite opponents regularly having more of the ball. They were also criticised for failing to respond defensively when they did not have the ball.

While he maintains a defensive focus, Roos understands the game has changed in the three years since he left the Swans. No longer can teams just largely focus on defence, as Ross Lyon, who also builds from the back, showed last season with grand finalist Fremantle implementing a more attacking style.

Trengove said Roos would move with the times. ''I guess that he has expressed the game has changed so much since he was coach. Everyone has to evolve and come up with new ideas,'' he said.

''But there is no doubt he had the success he did with the Swans with what he did [defensively] there. He will bring an element of that and add some things that he has sort of watched and observed as a commentator from the outside world over the last couple of years.''

In words that would please the AFL Players Association, which regularly fights for players to be given adequate time off to pursue other interests, Trengove said Roos understood it was important to have a balanced lifestyle. ''He is very relaxed and confident in the way he goes about things. When it comes to training he is hot on your hammer and drives really high standards, which has been fantastic. He gives you that down-time as well because he knows how important that is,'' he said.

Helping Trengove and his teammates relax have been meditation sessions with Roos' wife Tami, a meditation teacher and author.

Trengove's 2012-13 pre-season was destroyed by a navicular stress fracture in his left foot, with the classy midfielder said to have been working too hard to meet strict weight requirements.

This led to the former No.2 pick lacking explosiveness and fitness through the season proper, making it even harder for the young leader to help guide a directionless team.

Having surprised some by returning to training earlier than expected this summer, Trengove has been able to join in full work, and he couldn't be happier with the results. Improved fitness will give him greater flexibility in terms of roles, with Trengove keen to have more direct impact on the scoreboard.