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Harmes credits Plapp for rise in form

Matt Burgan  September 11, 2018 4:58 PM

Media Conference: James Harmes we chat to James Harmes about playing finals as he looks ahead to playing Hawthorn this Friday

JAMES Harmes has credited assistant coach Justin Plapp for taking his game to another level.

Harmes said Plapp, who guided Casey Demons to three successive finals series, and this year became Melbourne midfield coach, had been instrumental in his game.

“The form’s been really good, but it’s a credit to the coaches – Justin Plapp has been awesome for me this year,” he told Melbourne Media.

“He has taught me a lot and helped me grow as a player and as a person. I’m dealing with it and soaking it in, and it’s good that I’ve got some recognition.

“He gives me confidence. Every week he comes up [and encourages me]. We watch tapes together and he’s just a great bloke. He’s installs a lot of confidence in myself. He helps you work on things that I need to work on.”

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Plapp has been instrumental in Harmes's rise

Harmes, who has been brilliant in the back end of the season, said playing a settled role had also helped his game, while he loved the challenge of taking on some of the best in the business.

“Definitely. At the start of the year I was playing a little bit everywhere – and even had a shot in the ruck,” he said.

“Getting to play that inside mid role … it comes pretty natural to me, finding the ball. Probably my defensive work has improved in the last couple of years and I think I’ve got that in good stead.

“It’s a good challenge every week – every week’s different for me and I’m not sure what’ll happen this week, but it’s really exciting.”

Harmes said he was “buzzing” after Melbourne’s 29-point win over Geelong Cats at the MCG last week, and was ready to do it all again this Friday night against Hawthorn at the ‘G.

“It was unreal. It was really exciting and it was awesome fun, and it was a great contest between Geelong and the boys, who played really well. So, it was a great team effort,” he said.

“The 24 hours after the game, I was buzzing and I went back home for the weekend and watched a bit of local footy and saw a few mates in a few grand finals, so it’s definitely got me excited for the next few weeks.

“Now I’m just really looking forward to this week.”