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Melbourne's depth chart

afl.com.au  September 13, 2017 9:41 AM

List changes: The Demons chopped ex-captain Jack Trengove, along with Jake Spencer, Mitch White and Liam Hulett on Tuesday evening. Heritier Lumumba, who retired before the season began, will be officially scratched from the club's list at the end of this year.

DEFENDERS
Key defenders: 
Sam Frost, Declan Keilty, Oscar McDonald, Tom McDonald, Joel Smith
General defenders: Angus Brayshaw, Colin Garland, Michael Hibberd, Jayden Hunt, Neville Jetta, Christian Salem, Bernie Vince, Josh Wagner

Summary: Melbourne is regarded as having one of the most aggressive and pro-active defensive styles in the League. The Demons are in hot pursuit of out-of-contract Crow Jake Lever who would add some real quality to the club's back half.

MIDFIELDERS
Midfielders:
 Nathan Jones, Jordan Lewis, Corey Maynard, Pat McKenna, Jake Melksham, Clayton Oliver, Billy Stretch, Dom Tyson, Jack Viney
Ruckmen: Lachlan Filipovic, Max Gawn, Jake Spencer

Summary: Melbourne has made no secret of its desire to bring in A-grade midfield talent in recent years, with Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca appearing to be heading towards that status. Expect the Demons to prioritise the midfield area in the upcoming draft periods.

FORWARDS
Midfielder/forwards:
 Tom Bugg, James Harmes, Dion Johnstone, Ben Kennedy, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Aaron vandenBerg
General forwards: Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Dean Kent, Jack Watts
Key forwards: Jesse Hogan, Cameron Pedersen, Tim Smith, Sam Weideman

Summary: Jesse Hogan's challenging year saw Melbourne shift Tom McDonald to the forward line with some success and uncover Cameron Pedersen's best football as a roaming tall forward. Sam Weideman should push for regular senior opportunities in 2018, but another quality small forward to assist Garlett will be high on the club's wish list.

CONCLUSION
Despite failing to make the finals in 2017, the Demons' list is in good shape and appears ready to contend for a premiership in the next two to three years. Melbourne's investment and improved development of its talented young players appears set to pay off as the club aims for a period of sustained success. Bringing in an elite player such as Lever, and adding another highly-rated midfielder to the mix, could spark the Demons' premiership charge as early as next season or the year after. - Ben Guthrie