Success sweet for Demons’ ex-boss
FORMER Melbourne president Glen Bartlett says witnessing the Demons’ AFL premiership win with Robbie Flower’s daughter Danielle was the perfect postscript to the club’s eight-year climb from rock bottom.
Bartlett moved aside as Melbourne president earlier this year for Kate Roffey, having done his share of the heavy lifting alongside chief executive Peter Jackson as the club cleared debt and resuscitated its reputation.
While his withering assessment of the club’s on-field fortunes was contentious last season, Bartlett has stood by his determination to drive high standards during his tenure.
The Demons board member said on Monday that witnessing the glorious triumph was made all the sweeter by watching the game alongside the family of fallen club legend Flower.
A Demons and AFL Hall of Fame member, Flower died in 2014 aged 59.
“Across the country it means so much to so many people,” he said.
“I got to spend the game with Danielle Flower and Robbie’s son-in-law and there was just so much raw emotion.
“I took them with us down on to the ground after the game and they spoke a lot about how Robbie would have been proud of this team. It was quite emotional.
“It was a dream for Danielle and her husband. They kept saying it was just a dream come true.
“All over the country people were so emotional and so grateful. To think what we were eight years ago to what we have become.
“I keep saying it’s amazing the amount of good you can do when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
While Bartlett’s demand that the players improve ruffled feathers within the club, he says it came with a strong level of support for coach Simon Goodwin.
“There was a lot of support and a lot of feedback after that,” he said.
“It might have seemed hard at the time but it’s what leaders do and I will never apologise for being hard and clear.”