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Melbourne Football Club

We must earn right for finals: Tyson

We’re not given the right [to play finals], just because we rock up [to play]
Dom Tyson

DOM Tyson says Melbourne hasn’t earned the right to play finals, even though it’s firmly on the agenda for 2018.

Tyson said the red and blue had a long way to go, but was confident that his team could make an impact this year.

“We’re not given the right [to play finals], just because we rock up [to play],” he said.

“We were certainly disappointed with how last year finished off for us, but like us and a lot of other teams, we think we’ve improved since the end of last year.

“We’re really excited for games and we feel like we’re in a good spot with the way training’s been progressing. Hopefully we hit the ground running in round one.”

Tyson said defender Jake Lever had been an outstanding addition to the group and had impressed considerably over summer.

“We’ve got Jake Lever, who has come in, and it’s pretty remarkable that he’s only 21 years old, as he’s as mature as they come and he’s had an immediate impact on the group with his training standards. We’re loving what he’s providing,” he said.

“Even guys like ‘Hibbo’ (Michael Hibberd) and Jordan Lewis – they’re two years in now to their switched teams, so I feel like they’ll filter in beautifully for us and even improve.

“Then you get the natural improvement from a lot of young guys and even some middle-aged guys as well. Hopefully, it’s all pretty good.”

Now entering his seventh AFL season – his fifth at Melbourne after he was at the Giants for his first two – Tyson said he was feeling confident entering 2018.

“I’ve been able to do a full pre-season and I think for me, having continuity helps and not missing sessions,” he said.

“You tinker a few things in your game that you want to implement by the start of the season.

“We’re certainly bullish about our prospects as a side.”

Tyson said the players had moved on from last season’s disappointing finish and now had new aims.  

“We touched on it when we first came back for pre-season, and then we parked it and left it alone and then moved on, and focused on new aspirations and new goals,” he said.

“It certainly hurt, and I know for me, I’m yet to play a finals game and I’m in my seventh year now and I’m 24, so I’m desperate to get there.

“I know it’s hard because there are 18 teams that want to play finals, so we’ve got to rock up every week and bring really good intensity.”