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What the Melbourne fans think ...

afl.com.au  March 4, 2018 11:02 AM

AFL 2018 JLT Community Series - North Melbourne v Melbourne
Can Max Gawn finally lead the Demons back to September?

STILL smarting from the 0.5 percentage points that squeezed their side out of last year's finals, Demon fans demand two things.

One is a win over North Melbourne, something Melbourne hasn't achieved since round 20, 2006.

The other is for the Dees to comprehensively end their September drought, which stretches back to the same year.

Giving their take on their side's prospects in AFL.com.au's pre-season survey, a full 99 per cent of fans expected the Demons to finish in the top eight.

A fit Max Gawn was consistently identified as key to Melbourne's success. Fans named Gawn, who missed a large chunk of 2017, the Demons' most important player this season, ahead of exciting youngsters Christian Petracca and Jesse Hogan. 

Star recruit Jake Lever is expected to stiffen the Demons' backline and provide the stability they lacked in last year's heartbreaking failure to reach the finals.

Here are the survey results, plus a selection of Melbourne fans' responses.

Who is the Demons' key player in 2018?Percentage of fan votes2828212117179988Max GawnChristian PetraccaJesse HoganClayton OliverJack Viney
Which new arrival will make the biggest impact?Percentage of fan votes989822Jake LeverOther

What's the Demons' weakest spot on the park?

Outside pace seems to hurt us the most. We have brilliant inside mids, but we overpossess once they get it outside due to a lack of runners.
- Nicholas Duck, Trafalgar Vic

The ruck. We don't have any depth after Max Gawn and Cam Pedersen, so if we have another injury crisis in the ruck department, we are screwed.
- Bob Demonie, Williamstown Vic

Mental toughness.
- Harold Pourne, Malvern East Vic

It'll be a great year if ...

... we win the flag. Which we will when Petracca has a breakout season, Hogan slots in 60-plus goals and Gawn is All Australian again.
- Karthik Padmanabhan, South Bank Qld

... the young players develop into great players. The likes of Petracca, Brayshaw, Hunt, Salem, Tyson, Oscar McDonald, Hogan, Neal-Bullen and Weideman are key to whether the club has a serious crack for finals.
- Grahame Lebroy, Devonport Tas

... we make finals. That's literally it. Oh, and beat North. Please.
- Nicholas Duck Trafalgar Vic

Ladder positionWhere we'll finish the home and away season12345678

What's your dream headline in 2018?

'Dees make it three flag fairytales in a row'
- Denis Strudwick, Upwey Vic

'Dees into finals for first time in 12 years'
- Sok Yean, Mill Park Vic

'Goodwin? Greatwin: Dees bury Tigers by 10 goals under Anzac lights'
- Shane Jeffery, Melbourne Vic

What's the headline you secretly dread?

'Deevastated: Melbourne are AFL finals brdesmaids again'
- Shannon Boyd, Lavington NSW

'Gawn Gone'
- Geoff Walls, Caloundra Qld

'Same old Dees'
- Mark Wilcox, Kensington Vic

'Watts leads Port to Premiership'
- Jason Mackie, Bellevue Heights SA