Demons ‘move on’ from training camp revolt



88 Have your say

    Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says his AFL club has “moved on” after a player-led revolt resulted in the last-minute cancellation of a so-called pre-season ‘torture camp’.

    After onballer Dom Tyson and forward Christian Salem suffered injury setbacks at the same guerrilla-style 2016 camp, Demons’ players voiced health and safety fears to the AFL Players’ Association about a repeat camp in December.

    Despite the group of concerned players bypassing the leadership group, Goodwin rejected the notion it was slap in the face to his authority but admitted he would have liked more notice.

    “Obviously the timing (could) have been better,” he told reporters on Monday.

    “We would have liked to have known earlier but, in saying that, as soon as we found out, the leaders were fantastic.

    “They brought it to the footy club’s attention, they brought it to my attention and … we build programs together.

    “So we put it to bed really quickly and we moved on.”

    The 41-year-old Goodwin, entering his sophomore season as senior coach after Paul Roos relinquished the reins, was adamant the backflip wouldn’t sidetrack the club’s campaign to play finals for the first time since 2006.

    “Two days in a camp isn’t going to define the Melbourne footy club and it certainly won’t define how we go this year,” the second-year coach said.

    The Demons fell agonisingly short of breaking their decade-long finals drought last season, shunted out of the top eight on percentage after a shock loss to Collingwood in round 23.

    The club’s off-field drama has been compounded by a pending Victoria Police investigation, with an unnamed Demons player accused of sexually assaulting a Melbourne woman while on an end-of-season trip to Bali in September.

    With a disappointing end to 2017 in the rear-view mirror, the former Adelaide premiership star backed his side to turn the tide.

    “I’ve got complete trust in this playing group,” Goodwin said.

    “They’re really unified in building what they’re building and they know the hard work it’s going to take.”

    © AAP 2018

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (88)

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 3:14pm
      Macca said | January 22nd 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

      This issue could have been handled better but the players absolutely did the right thing in refusing to take part.

      This style training may be all well and good for the army but it has no place in AFL where it simply doesn’t fit in well with all the other training being done over the pre-season, it seems the equivalent of taking an F1 out on a rally track.

      The sleep deprivation and loss of weight and muscle would take weeks to overcome.

    • Roar Guru

      January 22nd 2018 @ 4:29pm
      Cat said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

      Melbourne has been seen as a soft club for years now. This just reinforces it.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:35pm
        Macca said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

        And when was the last time the handbaggers went on such a camp?

        Having players sleep something like 30 minutes in 3 days and lose condition that undoes so much of the pre-season hardwork just doesn’t make any sense in today’s AFL.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:38pm
          Birdman said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

          if that’s what the coach wanted……


          • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:45pm
            Macca said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

            TO me it raises more questions about the coaching staff than the players.

            If a player came back from the Christmas break physically exhausted and out of condition (or concussed from dropping a brick on their head) they would be disciplined by the club but apparently it is a great idea for the club to cause such things to happen?

            The whole “soft/hard” issue went past its used by date 20 years ago – training has got far more sophisticated.

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 6:42pm
              Cat said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

              So maybe the salary cap cheating blues should cancel all training because Docherty did his knee during it. Stuff happens. The whole brick thing is so bloody overblown.

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 8:00am
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 8:00am | ! Report

                Congratulations on missing the point by a record margin.

                Of course “stuff happens” but this style of training directly leads to players losing weight, losing condition and becoming so fatigued he need days to recover, that isn’t “stuff happening” it is cause and effect.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2018 @ 8:10am
                Cat said | January 23rd 2018 @ 8:10am | ! Report

                Someone has a different opinion than you and it is nothing but attack, attack, attack. Typical.

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 8:59am
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

                Attack? I simply observed you missed the point massively, I suppose referencing Carlton’s almost 2 decades old salary cap issues wasn’t “attacking”.

                You also haven’t answered the question – when was the last time your club went on one of these camps.

                The other day you said I needed to follow 4 points;
                A. stay on topic
                B. stop setting up straw men
                C. stop playing at semantics and pedantry
                D. answer the questions asked instead of ignoring them and changing the flow of the discussion.

                So far you have failed on points A and D.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2018 @ 9:16am
                Cat said | January 23rd 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                You started the name calling, I just responded in kind.

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 9:22am
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                Sorry Cat but you stated “Melbourne has been seen as a soft club for years now” I was simply observing that your club is known as “The handbaggers” and that we don’t see them doing this sort of training so you point seems a little hypocritical.

                And you are still failing points A & D (and probably C)

            • Roar Rookie

              January 22nd 2018 @ 9:43pm
              Chancho said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

              That’s a good point, why was it just before the scheduled camp? If there were problems why didn’t the club/managers hear about it earlier? Or, after the last camp or the end of season review they judge whether it was a success or not?

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:58pm
                Macca said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

                Yeah the players didn’t handle the situation well but they were still right not to go.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:54pm
            Macca said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

            Birdman – let me ask you this,

            What if you were a player who was about to enter his 4th year at the club and coming into the last year of your second 2 year contract. At you exit interview the “coach” told you he leaves your endeavour, attitude, desire and the fact you always do the team thing but says you really need to bulk up to take the next step.

            You put in the hard yards and add 5kg to your frame but last year you lost 3kg on this camp and came back so exhausted you couldn’t train properly for another 3 days after returning leading to further loss of condition – would you be happy to go because “that is what the coach wants” or would you think that going on the camp completely contradicts “what the coach wants” from you specifically based on your one on one discussion in the exit interview?

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 6:27am
              Slane said | January 23rd 2018 @ 6:27am | ! Report

              Some people believe that overcoming incredible physical challenges promotes mental strength and resilience. Having a playing group that believes they can overcome any challenge is probably more valuable than a bit of extra shut-eye. The gruelling hikes along the Kokoda trail certainly didn’t hurt the Hawks 3-peat.

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 9:11am
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

                Slane – Bonding camps especially for the younger players are a great idea, the blues do one to Tasmania each year straight after the draft (before the hard yards of training have been done) but the Melbourne thing was a different kettle of fish.

                On the hawks and Kokoda;
                the hawks have gone to Kokoda once since 2011 which indicates times may have changed.
                They didn’t take the whole playing list (the last time they went the took just 12 players and have sent a total of 150 people including coaches and staff since 2004)
                They did the trip earlier in the training cycle.
                They did 10 hour days which is significantly different to allowing players just 30 minutes sleep in 3 days.
                And I would suggest there is much greater “educational” benefits from going to Kokoda than heading to some ex SAS members private fiefdom.

                In an era when players are limited on the number of shots on goal they can take at training and have to report each day every little detail of their well being this sort of training camp makes little sense.

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 12:36pm
              Birdman said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report


              if Clarko says ‘we’re going on a camp and it’s gonna be hell’ well, you go.

              Not sure why Melb players would treat their coach with that little respect.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2018 @ 12:39pm
                Paul D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

                Because he has no power over them. Clarko has won premierships and is the angriest man alive, you don’t think he has more inherent authority than Goodwin?

                They say no to him and they’ll get the MCG plasterboard treatment

                Anyways, Clarko wouldn’t be silly enough to go send players off on basically a window dressing exercise – look at us, look at how hard we’re working and all the adversity we’re going through, how united are we etc. That’s all it was.

                You can’t tell me come clutch time in an elim final 4th quarter that the Dees players are thinking about that camp

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 12:47pm
                Birdman said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                I doubt Clarko pre-3peat would have had a mutiny on his hands.

                As for the Dees in that 4th qtr of an Elim. Final, they may not be thinking about that camp they ducked but they’ll def. be reminded of it by EVERYBODY if they fall short.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2018 @ 1:08pm
                Paul D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                Yeah, because that’s the easiest explanation – the narrative is already starting around the Dees being the cosseted pampered playing group of the Melbourne elite

                Like the fine china, only hauled out once a week for use and any signs of cracking or fatigue and they’re immediately wrapped in cotton wool and put away again

                Maybe Goodwin is playing an in-depth double game, a bit of psychological warfare – inspiring the troops by not having a camp so they spend all year proving to the other 17 teams they are really are dead hard even though they revolted at carrying bricks

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 1:11pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                Birdman – REspect has to be earned, it isn’t just given.
                Clarko has the players respect because, as PaulD says, “wouldn’t be silly enough to go send players off on basically a window dressing exercise – look at us, look at how hard we’re working and all the adversity we’re going through, how united are we etc.”

                Soldiers followed Sir John Monash because the knew he wouldn’t ask them to do id 0tic things.

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 1:15pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                “the narrative is already starting around the Dees being the cosseted pampered playing group of the Melbourne elite” to me the narrative should be the Melbourne playing group had the brains to realise the camp would not only be pointless but actually detrimental – if they had simply had the balls to tackle Goodwin head on rather than go through the AFLPA it would be a massive positive to me, intelligent players who are unafraid to voice their opinions!

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 1:36pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                Birdman – I would also suggest Hawthorn players (especially the senior ones) would have no issue voicing their opinions to Clarko and Clarko would in fact encourage them to do so.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2018 @ 1:40pm
                Paul D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

                I think the real story out of all of this is why the Dees players bypassed the leadership group and went to the AFLPA

                Did they

                – Not feel confident voicing their concerns to the senior players – indicates unapproachability
                – Did they voice their concerns and were told to pull their heads in without the leadership group speaking to Goodwin – indicates lack of buy-in and top down leadership rather than shared success
                – Did they voice their concerns, the leadership group spoke to Goodwin and then came back and said sorry guys, coach says no?

                I’d be interested to know the circumstances of which hypothesis is most accurate?

                Also who cares what the knockers say – the only people lining up to really bucket them were Kane Cornes, who will say anything on anything for food & relevance, and Danny Frawley, who to be fair, knows almost as well as anyone what its like to be a laughing stock as a coach

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 1:51pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                Agree with all that PaulD – I know Bolton is telling the blues to speak up and not be afraid to challenge anyone if they think the acceptable standards aren’t being met, I would hate to think any Carlton player felt they had to go to the AFLPA rather than to the leadership or coaching groups.

                Again though it says more about the coaching group than the players – why haven’t they been able to instil that culture?

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 2:13pm
                Birdman said | January 23rd 2018 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                Maybe Goodwin’s time at Essendon during the ‘supplements saga’ has some people wondering about his ‘player welfare’ credentials?

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:14pm
      Harsh Truth Harry said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

      Seriously folks Big Harry is back to call it as he sees it. This club has not won a flag since 1964. I’ll do the Math for you blokes, that’s 53 years without a flag. They had 12 flags by 1964, they still have 12 flags.
      1964, let Big H put that in perspective for you.

      The average house price in Melbourne was $20,000
      The average income was AUS$9,000
      Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton for the first time
      The first Beatles record is introduced to the USA
      The USA surgeon general reported that smoking may lead to lung cancer.
      Sony introduces the first VCR home video recorder.
      And so on and so on. WHy the history lesson? Well, let me tell you this, a player led revolt against a club training program and NOT instigated even by the leadership team? Give me a ****ing break. Be prepared to wait another 53 years Melbourne fans, your side has shown disparity, discontent, fractured leadership and yes, a soft underbelly. I am sure my Bombers will remind them of this in the season ahead.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:29pm
        Macca said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

        Here is what your “hard” bombers did on their “rite of passage camp Harry;

        “The Rite of Passage Camp involves cultural learning and awareness, history of the club and its relationship with the Tiwi Islands and communities in Darwin, some footy work and some other educational pieces,” Worsfold said.

        They also did it tough for three days at “OCEAN GROVE’S multimillion-dollar facilities at Shell Rd”.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 6:22pm
      Dave said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

      The player led revolt against playing finals is more of a worry.

    • Roar Guru

      January 23rd 2018 @ 9:44am
      Paul D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      The only thing you need to know about this camp revolt is that it will be used as a stick to whack the Dees with all year every time they have a close loss and in the eyes of some pundit weren’t showing enough ticker.

      Agree too that training is a fair bit more scientific these days and less showpony – even Hinckley gave up taking the lads to Dubai for sprints just because it’s hot

      • January 23rd 2018 @ 9:51am
        Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        Agree the media will wheel it out ad nauseum, but that just shows up how poor our football journalism is – the other day the age did an article on Matthew Kennedy which was sourced entirely from watching a 3 minute video made by the blues and posted on their website.

        As for Dubai – I think the trips there were as much about the money as anything else, the blues went one year and most of the “training” seemed to be being done at places that would be advantageous for Dubai tourism.

        • January 23rd 2018 @ 11:09am
          Suzie the nudist said | January 23rd 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          Hello Macca. You seem quite an opinionated person in here. I’m not saying that is a bad thing just as a newcomer here you seem to call things as you see them. I am 32 and have followed the mighty Magpies all my life as my late father also followed them so us kids had no choice. I love them and devour all media on them. I can’t wait to follow our progress and the articles and comments in The Roar this season. My question for you is what do you think of the Arizona altitude camps that were going on when we won our flag in 2010 and nearly followed up back to back except for the star studded and powerful Cats? They were apparently hard training camps but we also got our flag.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 11:17am
            Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

            No point in going on to an opinion site unless you have an opinion Suzie and an opinion isn’t worth much unless you can defend it.

            As for the Arizona camps, from what I can tell there are some doubts over the impact of training at altitude for such a short period but that aside I have no issue with it and I expect even without the altitude it would have been beneficial to the group to get away together.

            But again that is massively different to what is going on at Melbourne, the Arizona camps appear to have been done in a “scientific” way, the Melbourne camp seems more 1980’s brutality.

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:24pm
              Suzie the nudist said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

              What if they went through with it Macca and then stormed to the flag like the Tigers. Would that change your mind?

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:31pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

                No it wouldn’t because I don’t think there would be any correlation, it would be like the Simpsons Bear Tax.

                I have no issue with a training camp, I have no issue with hard training and I have no issue with team bonding but the simple fact that no other club does this kind of training anymore (not to mention the fact that Melbourne folded when the players raised their issues) gives a pretty clear indication that the camp is not compatible with modern day sports science.

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:39pm
              Suzie the nudist said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

              I take your point Macca though I don’t know what the Simpsons Bear Tax is (though I suspect from the cartoon Simpsons).

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:45pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

                Yeah a Bear wandered into town (for the first time ever) so the brought in a Bear Patrol to keep the Bears out funded by the bear tax. The Bear Patrol was thought to be working brilliantly because their were no bears, despite only 1 bear sighting in the history of the town before the bear tax.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 12:42pm
            Birdman said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report


            Macca def. has opinions and unless you agree with his, expect to be badgered senseless.

            welcome to the site but just remember your reply button is ‘not always your friend’

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 1:26pm
              Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

              No need to fear the reply button, unless you can’t defend your opinion and/or you are to fragile to have it challenged.

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:22pm
              Suzie the nudist said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

              Thanks Birdman, it seems Macca is the outlier in here but i guess every blog site needs an outspoken contributor to keep up the interest! It also seems I may be the only woman in here?

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:26pm
                Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                Hal (Hayley) was around a bit last year but there isn’t many females.

              • Roar Guru

                January 23rd 2018 @ 4:28pm
                Paul D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                Olivia Watts writes some fantastic comments during the regular season on her beloved swans

            • January 29th 2018 @ 11:22am
              Macca said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

              Gee sorry Pasta Bob – I am sure we have all missed your valuable insights, if I could only remember you ever being here before.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 1:49pm
            Jon boy said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

            Welcome Suzie, nice to have new subscribers and good luck .

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:22pm
              Suzie the nudist said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

              Thank you Jon Boy. I follow my beloved Pies, who do you follow?

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:59pm
                Jon boy said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

                Suzie, Chris Maynes old mob Freo.

              • January 24th 2018 @ 8:43am
                truetigerfan said | January 24th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

                Beloved Pies? I smell a rat!

              • January 24th 2018 @ 9:16am
                Macca said | January 24th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                Are you suggesting that “Suzi the nudist” is actually “Peter the Scribe”?

    • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:22pm
      mattyb said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

      I don’t think we know enough about sports science yet where the players shouldn’t be following the direction of the coaches and staff.
      I can certainly see a major benefit in commando type training that increases strength and fitness while limiting the players adding weight and bulk,which seems to be a major focus at some clubs.

      Either way,I think if people criticize Melbourne during the season this will be mentioned and the way the players went about it is certainly questionable.

      • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:37pm
        Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

        I think we know enough about sports science to know that sleep deprivation isn’t great for training.

      • January 23rd 2018 @ 8:39pm
        Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

        Here is a science question for you, what does the body use for energy in a fasting/starvation situation when it only has very limited body fat?

        • January 23rd 2018 @ 10:08pm
          mattyb said | January 23rd 2018 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

          Macca,it’s only a couple of days.

          Like I said I think there’s major benefits in our game for players to develop strength and fitness while not putting on bulk. Plenty of clubs now have players on programs to lose body mass or maintain what they have but no more,when before bulking up was all the rage,players now need to get up and down the ground first and foremost.
          Anyway,I still don’t think we know enough to argue if the aggressive or cotton wool approach is best. The players at Melbourne,I think,should have gone with the programme devised by the Melbourne staff,the rest is unknown and therefore secondary.

          Sleep deprivation has mental effects more than physical,and humans can go without food for far longer than some might suspect with minimal consequences. Some people even suggest fasting is beneficial in many regards.

          Again,the camp was going to last a very short period of time,and would have had a recovery system in place I’d suspect.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 11:02pm
            Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

            One more thing, the human body can do amazing things without food, water or sleep – but that doesn’t mean it is a good way to prepare for a season of AFL, it is why players have to report how much sleep they got every day, what they ate and what exercise they did.

            • January 24th 2018 @ 1:32am
              mattyb said | January 24th 2018 @ 1:32am | ! Report

              Macca,I’m not sure there’s any more things. Clubs are obviously going to take different approaches,both mentally and physically,we are a long way from knowing what’s best and what isnt.

              • January 24th 2018 @ 8:06am
                Macca said | January 24th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

                17 clubs don’t do this stuff, the one club that wanted to was convinced the risk V reward didn’t warrant going forward – it is pretty clear this isn’t what’s best

      • January 23rd 2018 @ 10:19pm
        BigAl said | January 23rd 2018 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

        This whole episode reminds me of the debacle that was Des Tuddenham coaching Essendon, where to ‘punish’ players for a loss , he required them to do laps – on their knees !

        • January 23rd 2018 @ 10:54pm
          Macca said | January 23rd 2018 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

          Exactly Big Al- I t I said a throw back to the bad old days.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 11:09pm
            mattyb said | January 23rd 2018 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

            Clubs do actually still do old day stuff though,early morning swims,bring mouthguards to training etc.
            Whichever side of the fence one sits there’s no doubt training is pretty intense this time of year with a variety of approaches taken.

            • January 24th 2018 @ 8:27am
              Macca said | January 24th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

              if you think training these days is anything like the days of 100 100’s, “punishment ” for losing and recovery at the social club you clearly have limited knowledge.

            • January 24th 2018 @ 8:28am
              Macca said | January 24th 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

              And early morning swims are exactly “old days stuff”, recovery used to be Sunday’s at the social club