Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney has turned his back on AFL free agency in favour of re-signing with the Demons for another five years.
It could yet culminate in a rare finals appearance but Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is confident the future is bright for his AFL club.
A five-point win over Greater Western Sydney in Brisbane on Saturday means the Demons head into next weekend’s match against Essendon firmly in the race to finish in the top eight.
Even if the Demons fall short of that ambition, the arrival of young guns Kysaiah Pickett and Trent Rivers gives Goodwin belief he’s got the club on the right path.
Rivers had a breakout game against the Giants, kicking his first two AFL goals including a fourth-quarter effort which proved to be the matchwinner.
Livewire Pickett was also impressive, picking up 15 disposals, kicking a goal and having a huge influence in the Demons’ forward play.
“They’re two quality kids,” Goodwin said.
“They’ve had outstanding first seasons of AFL footy.
“They’re young. They execute their role incredibly well and they’re continuing to grow and understand what AFL footy’s like.
“To be in a game like that – it’s great for their growth as individuals to be a part of the team and also a club that was under that type of pressure, but they’ve got another opportunity next week.”
The Demons have moved into the top eight with their win over the Giants but can drop out again if the Western Bulldogs defeat Hawthorn on Sunday.
The equation from there is simple. beat the Bombers and just hope things fall their way.
As far as Goodwin is concerned, he just wants his team to deliver a performance like they did against the Giants.
“Approach it no different to every game of footy. Clearly there will be bigger stakes,” he said.
“Destiny’s, not all in our hands, but we’ve got to play the way that we want to play.
“Our destiny really is in how we build our footy club both short term and long term. I want to see the same Melbourne rock up as what we saw today (Saturday).”