Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has a big future in mind for the Demons, declaring his side’s first premiership in 57 years is “not the end of anything”.
The Dees executed a thrilling grand final turnaround at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Saturday night, coming back from 19 points behind the Western Bulldogs midway through the third quarter to triumph by 74 points.
An emotional Goodwin credit his midfield, headlined by Norm Smith medallist Christian Petracca, with the remarkable victory which sealed the side’s first flag since 1964.
“It’s not the end of anything,” Goodwin said. “This is the start for our footy club. This is what we want to be.
“But what we do know is the respect we need to show the competition, to show to ourselves, of how hard it is to be in this position. It’s not an easy position to get to and we will hit pre-season when the time comes with that respect and the work that’s required to stay here. It’s not easy and it doesn’t just come of just talent.”
Goodwin said he felt for fans who were unable to leave lockdown in Victoria to be in Perth for the moment.
“What I do know is that I’m pretty sure they’re enjoying their lounge rooms, they’re proud as they could ever be about their club,” he said. Fifty-seven years and they’ve suffered a lot during that time, and I’m sure they are as proud of their boys as I am.”
Meanwhile, Goodwin revealed defender Steven May tore his right hamstring in the preliminary-final win over Geelong but was kept in the dark by the club’s medical team until after the grand final.
The 29-year-old was sent in for scans during the week but told the club not to tell him the results for fear it could affect his performance in the decider. The scans showed a tear in the hamstring, but the club’s medical staff stayed true to May’s request and instead let the All-Australian prove his fitness out on the track.
The Demons took a risk by selecting May for the grand final, and the 171-game veteran tore the hamstring again in the second quarter. May ploughed through to finish the game, and it was only when he walked off that the team doctor informed him that he had actually torn it in the preliminary final as well.
“I didn’t know that I had torn it,” May told AAP. “They wanted to scan it, and I said, ‘I don’t want to know the result, because I want to play’. So we went off my symptoms, and I trained well and all that. I knew something was wrong because they were a bit sheepish around it.
Goodwin said May’s injury against the Cats would have sidelined him for several weeks had it occurred during the regular season.
“It was solid, yeah,” he said. “He had a reasonable tear to it but the medicos and the fitness staff did an unbelievable job.
“He had a scan and there were some results there that weren’t great. We treated it clinically; all his strength was there, he trained fully, he got through all the tests and we were prepared to take that risk, as he was.
“If it was round 14, he’s probably not playing. You would have given him a few weeks just to settle it down a little bit but we haven’t got a few weeks, we had to win today. And he was fit and he was ready.”