It might have just been a pre-season match, but Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin was still delighted with the Demons’ six-point win over the Western Bulldogs.
In Goodwin’s first game since taking over from Paul Roos, his side impressed in the windy conditions at Whitten Oval, defeating a Dogs side containing 15 premiership players 0.14.8 (92) to 2.9.14 (86).
“It’s just a pre-season game and we understand that we’re probably four weeks ahead (of them) in our training and preparation,” Goodwin said.
“But I thought we played some really good footy at times.
“I think it was a starting point … we’re well on the way to teaching them the right way to play, but they’ve still got a lot of improving to do.”
In his first game since signing a two-year contract extension, Jesse Hogan was the most damaging forward on the ground, kicking four goals.
“He’s just a great target … I just loved the way he jumped at the ball today,” Goodwin said.
“I think when the ball came into his area he had a real presence about him.
“He marked a few and kicked a couple of goals. He’s had a great summer and I thought today was a good reward for that.”
The Demons led at every change and were well-served by former Hawthorn premiership star Jordan Lewis, who finished with a game-high 28 possessions.
“It was good … by his own admission he probably struggled to settle into the game early, but once he did I thought his direction out there was very good,” Goodwin said of the 264-game veteran.
Co-captains Jack Viney (22 disposals) and Nathan Jones (21) were also important through the middle, as was Bernie Vince (26).
It wasn’t all good news for Melbourne, Josh Wagner suffering a dislocated fibula, with scans required to determine the severity of the injury.