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List changes inevitable, but how many?

Matt Burgan  September 6, 2017 12:21 PM

You need to make a minimum of three to four changes on your list every year. Most clubs would do more and we’ll be no different in that frame

COACH Simon Goodwin says list changes are inevitable, but just how many will be made in the coming weeks is yet to be determined.

Goodwin said the club was “still going through the process” of its list management, before it enters the October trade and free agency period and November drafts.

“You need to make a minimum of three to four changes on your list every year. Most clubs would do more and we’ll be no different in that frame,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

Goodwin said the industry “now demands that you’re active” in the free agency and trade period.

“The [AFL] Players’ Association are now endorsing player movement and it’s what the players have wanted for a long period of time,” he said.

“So as a club, we’ve got to look at all forms to improve our list – that’s trade, free agency and draft. When the season finishes, a lot of your energy is channelled to ‘how can we actually improve?’ Your list is one of those.

“Our list management team has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to firm some options and strategies, over that period of time.

“Hopefully, right until the end of draft, we’ll make the appropriate list changes but also bring in some quality individuals and quality players to our footy team that will help us next year and in the years to come.”

Goodwin said player retention was just as critical in building the list for 2018 and beyond.

“When you’re building towards what we want to ultimately achieve, the players believe in that journey and they want to be part of something,” he said.

“We’ve got to create the best environment we can possibly create for our playing group. So, [we need] to improve, get better and really know what we’re striving towards is going to be worthwhile.

“So, retention is critical, and clearly the club has done a lot of work to bring in some great talent to this footy club. How we grow and develop it and how we retain it is awfully important.”

Having guided Melbourne to the club’s best season since 2006 – and to the cusp of the finals – Goodwin said he had cherished every moment of his first season as senior coach.

“It’s been a terrific year. I’ll work all of the way through until October 12 and then I’ll head overseas for a bit of a study trip with my wife and have a bit of a break at the same time,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the year, but also a great opportunity to get into my own headspace and really generate some new ideas and innovation, and bring some things back from the US that might be applicable to our game.

“And [I want] to try and learn, and get better.”

As for assessing the season, Goodwin said the growth of his younger players, plus some wins against the odds were among his 2017 highlights.

“[Christian] Petracca, [Clayton] Oliver and Jayden Hunt – those guys really impressed in terms of how they grew and developed,” he said.

“I think some of our really important wins – Adelaide in Adelaide was something as a club we’ll remember. It was a bit of a time when expectation did grow and people did realise that this team might be emerging into a quality team.

“Our ability to win at Etihad Stadium was something that was spoken about a lot. Our ability to beat St Kilda – teams we hadn’t beaten much before were certainly a highlight.

“Then it becomes about generating a good team. As soon as you generate a good team and produce a good footy team, you win interstate and you win at most ovals. You win in finals and you become a really strong footy club.”

Goodwin said these highlights pointed towards the club being on the right track.

“They all indicate towards us improving as a footy club and in the direction that we want to go. That’s why I’m glass half full and that’s why I’m really positive and optimistic about our pathway moving forward,” he said.

“I can assure our supporters that we’re going to leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of being the best footy club possible.”