Grimes, Jones question Demons’ AFL effort
Melbourne co-captain Jack Grimes has blamed the AFL club’s woeful season start on patchy effort and a slower-than-expected pick-up of their new game plan.
But he is adamant that coach Mark Neeld has the team’s full support and the decision to make himself and 20-year-old Jack Trengove joint skippers has not upset senior players.
Yet to win a match under Neeld, the bottom-placed Demons slumped to a new low with Saturday’s 101-point loss to Sydney at the SCG.
Grimes said that performance was particularly galling, because he had believed they were making progress and were well placed for a breakthrough win.
“That was probably the most disappointing thing, that we went into the game so positively and had that terrible result,” Grimes told reporters on Tuesday.
But it has not altered his conviction that the team is heading the right way under Neeld, even if it is taking longer than expected.
“It is very different to the way we played last year,” Grimes said of Neeld’s game plan.
“We obviously trained it for the whole summer and put it in place over the NAB Cup and hoped it would all come together for round one and the first eight rounds.
“But it clearly does take time to adjust to this.
“We feel like we are making inroads, as much as the weekend didn’t show it.”
Grimes admitted he was puzzled by the sharp drop-off against the Swans after what were at least competitive efforts in previous rounds.
“We know at times our effort hasn’t been there and hasn’t been good enough and there’s no excuses for that,” Grimes said.
Fellow leadership group member Nathan Jones also questioned his teammates’ effort level.
“A four-quarter effort by 22 blokes is what we’re not getting,” Jones said.
“When we did get that, we were in games and competed.”
But he backed the view that players were gradually adjusting to Neeld’s game plan and at some point the progress at training would flow into matches.
“We’re eight competitive games into learning a new thing, I just don’t think it’s becoming instinctive yet,” Jones said.© AAP 2013