Mark Neeld’s needs are many at struggling Demons
The Melbourne Demons have bounced along the bottom for half of a decade now without any real sign of improvement, and are are in fact probably going backwards.
In the last six seasons they have won 32 games whereas in Fitroy’s last six seasons they won 31 games.
Dean Bailey’s last 22 games were nine wins, 12 losses and a draw. His previous 22 were seven wins, 14 losses, and a draw.
This year they won four games.
While Bailey’s record was far from outstanding it seemed from afar that the club was having some improvement year on year.
It’s essentially the same list that Mark Neeld has inherited, and he has he tried to change the playing style without any great effect.
Last season they averaged 353 disposals, this year 328, the worst in the league.
In 2011 they averaged 49 inside 50s, this year 45.
Effective disposal was in 2011 72.9 while this year it was down to 71.2.
So they are getting less of the ball, using it less effectively and hence having less inside 50s. Hardly awe-inspiring for Demons fans.
Many articles are written about drafts and missed picks, wrong picks and so on. Another measure, while also not completely accurate but can give some indication of talent, is how many Rising Star nominations a club receives.
Melbourne in the last five seasons have had 12 nominations, including 2 players (Gysberts and Blease) twice.
In the same period a side like North melbourne who are trying to follow the Geelong model of acquiring as much talent as they can through the draft, have had four. The Dees do have young talent.
They now appear in a position to have lost last year’s best and fairest (Moloney), their most talented forward (note talented, not best) in Jurrah, with potentially a few more to go.
According to rumour and scuttlebutt, are considering options such as Byrnes (Cats) and Monfries (Bombers).
While both are honest citizens of the AFL they are hardly likely to really assist in a firm push up the ladder.
Coaching in the AFL is a ruthless business,especially if you are a new coach with no reputation and inheriting an average list. Just look at Mathew Primus.
It’s crucial that the club maintains its competitiveness otherwise coaching can be a very short term career option. Watching the Dees will be of great interest in 2013.
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