AFL 2024; Melbourne captain Max Gawn defends player fitness

Melbourne captain Max Gawn has once again defended his club’s culture following an attack on the fitness of Demons players by former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley in the wake of a Fremantle knock in Alice Springs last weekend .

It was the second defeat in three games against a Western Australian team, having gone to the lowly Eagles in Perth, and Gawn had previously described the two performances as the “worst in five years”, while superstar teammate Christian Petracca said he was “embarrassed”. ” from how they played.

But after seeing footage of Melbourne’s players in the rooms after the 92-point defeat to the Dockers, Buckley twice questioned whether or not the players were in the right shape for an elite AFL team, first on the radio in the morning and then on his Fox Footy. program on Monday evening.

“Looking at this vision I thought to myself… first, the energy isn’t great… but a thought came to mind [that] this doesn’t look like a tough and fit top four side. A bit of fitness. I just don’t think it’s a tough, fit unit. I don’t expect energy after a 92-point defeat, but they’re not as strong and fit as I would expect,” Buckley said On the sofa.

His opinion was not widely shared by other experts and while Gawn did not specifically address Buckley’s comments on Wednesday he was adamant that his team’s culture was “where it needs to be” but admitted they had major issues to address on the field.

Gawn said the annual visit of former MND coach and Crusader champion Neale Daniher this week had also provided a “circuit breaker” and reinforced the need for actions and not words to change things.

“With the week we’ve had you can get in your head and talk a lot and there’s a lot of chatter going on,” he said.

“There is a lot of talk within our four walls about how we will resolve what has happened. But ultimately that’s what Neale says, it’s actions. This week is really about truth. This is what we have to do.

“We are not the team we want to be. But I have been here a few times and I have defended our culture and I will continue to defend our culture. I think he’s where he needs to be off the field, but he’s not where he needs to be on the field.

Gawn said there were some “pretty honest truths” his teammates had to face this week in a review of last week’s match that painted a bad picture of what the Demons had produced.

But seeking “revenge” for last year’s qualifying final defeat to Collingwood in Monday’s King’s Birthday clash could help narrow the focus and find more hunger in Melbourne to do what is needed.

“We think we are one of the best defensive and competitive teams, but in the last six weeks we are not. If we want to get back to that, we have to go out there and do it,” she said.

“We take a look at the numbers and see where we are across the AFL and they are nowhere near the numbers we think we can do.

“I think it’s great to have a pretty hungry Steven May out there wanting to make sure the Pies don’t score, a pretty hungry Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver out there to make sure we get the clearance, and a pretty hungry Bailey Fritsch, Kozzie Pickett for score some goals.

Read related topics:Melbourne

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