Shepparton News

Goodwin: One season over, next just beginning

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Melbourne: Simon Goodwin says success-starved Melbourne won’t get carried away with winning the minor premiershi­p as they quickly turn their attention to the finals series.

The Demons finished top of the ladder for the first time in 57 years courtesy of a thrilling four-point win over Geelong on Saturday night.

The 12.9 (81) to 12.5 (77) victory was sealed by captain Max Gawn, who marked 20m from goal at GMHBA Stadium and converted his set shot after the siren in a dramatic finish.

It came after Melbourne had trailed by 44 points during the third quarter and sparked wild scenes of celebratio­n as Gawn’s teammates mobbed him.

“What you saw after the game was just genuine emotion of a playing group that worked incredibly hard to work themselves back into the game, as did the staff,” Goodwin said post-match.

“We wanted to finish as high as we could up the ladder to give ourselves the best opportunit­y, but we’ll reset and refocus.

“We know that’s one season down and the new season begins next week.

“We’ll enjoy this moment for what it is, but come Sunday our players will be firmly focused on the task at hand and we’re only halfway through what we want to achieve.”

The Demons last claimed a minor premiershi­p in 1964 – the same year they won their last VFL flag under legendary coach Norm Smith.

“Deep down, it means a lot to our footy club,” Goodwin said.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been sitting in this position to give ourselves the opportunit­y that’s presenting itself.”

Melbourne will take on fourthplac­ed Brisbane in their qualifying final at a neutral venue.

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