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Melbourne Football Club

Maynard earns praise from Goodwin

He gave us what we thought he would. He’s a real contested ball player
Simon Goodwin on Corey Maynard

COACH Simon Goodwin says debutant Corey Maynard did everything that could’ve been expected from him in his first AFL game.  

Maynard notched up 18 disposals and kicked a goal against GWS Giants in Melbourne’s 35-point loss at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday. Goodwin said the former NBL basketballer made an impressive start to his AFL career.

“He gave us what we thought he would. He’s a real contested ball player,” he said post-match.

“He certainly did that for us; he’ll continue to improve.

“He touched the ball 18 times in the game and for a debut – that’s a pretty good contribution.”

Maynard even copped a big hit from Giant ruckman Shane Mumford, which Goodwin said was an introduction to the highest level.

“Mummy’s a big guy. He tackles really aggressively and it’s a bit of a welcome to AFL footy,” he said.

But Goodwin wouldn’t be drawn on what he thought about Mumford’s clip on Max Gawn, even though he acknowledged the duo had a “terrific battle” in the ruck.

“It was the standout battle for the day and I think both really rucked incredibly well. They followed up and tackled, and marked the ball around the ground,” he said.

“I thought Max’s marking was back to his best.

“It was a really good battle.”

Goodwin said leaders Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince also showed good signs upon return.  

“Firstly, it was good to get them back in the team. Having your leaders back in the team, playing some good footy is really important to you,” he said.

“They both probably struggled a little bit early, but worked their way into the game.

“They’ll be better for the run and [we’re] looking forward to [them] continuing their form over the next few weeks.”

Goodwin also praised young-gun Clayton Oliver for his efforts yet again. 

“His second half [of the game] was a lot better than his first. Clayton has had an outstanding season, but his second half, he really responded when the team needed him to and we were under a little bit of pressure,” he said.

“I thought he got back into some really good form in the second half.”

Although Melbourne won contested possessions (172 to 161) and inside 50s (54 to 53), the Giants had the edge in clearances (60 to 43) and tackles (112 to 86).

“Around the ball, they still got the better of us, even though the numbers did suggest we did win contested ball,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that forward of centre, they connected better with their ball use and they were certainly more efficient going inside 50.”