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Melbourne Football Club

Hawks just another team: Lewis

Photo: Michael Dodge
We're a young side and we've won one final, so it's important that (is kept in perspective)
Jordan Lewis

VETERAN Demon Jordan Lewis is doing his best to separate himself from his rich history at Hawthorn ahead of the clubs' do-or-die semi-final clash on Friday night.

Lewis was an integral member in the Hawks' four premierships in eight years, including the three-peat from 2013-15, the middle season of which he won the club's best and fairest.

The 32-year-old joined Melbourne last year, but is yet to be part of a winning Demons side against Hawthorn – a record he is intent on correcting in three days' time.

"I think you have to see them (the Hawks) as anyone else," Lewis told AFL.com.au.

"My time at Hawthorn was nearly two years ago now, so mentally I've moved on and I'm well entrenched in the Melbourne culture.

"We haven't beaten them since I've been here, so that would be nice, but the enormity of the game and understanding our season would be over if we don't win probably overtakes those emotions of beating Hawthorn in a big game."

The outpouring of positivity about the Demons' finals run is in stark contrast to the dark times not that far in the past.

They churned through seven coaches in seven years at one stage – two of them caretakers in Mark Riley and Todd Viney – before Paul Roos and Simon Goodwin finally helped fix a sinking ship.

The danger for Melbourne, according to Lewis, is not to get carried away with its own publicity.

"We're a young side and we've won one final, so it's important that (is kept in perspective)," Lewis said.

"The stories go on around us, but unfortunately for a player, you've got no time just to bask in the win on Friday night (over Geelong).

"We've moved on to Hawthorn already … as much as you want to enjoy a win, we understand if we lose this Friday night, our season's done."

Lewis' 23 finals before last week's 29-point win over the Cats dwarfed his teammates' combined total of four, but that experience is why the Demons coveted him in the 2016 Trade Period.

It is also the biggest difference he's noticed since his change of environment, although he sees similarities in Melbourne's emergence with Hawthorn pre-2008.

"What's changed is the number of people around me that had success as well," Lewis said.

"Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge and those guys were there as well, so there was a little bit of a calming influence.

"The guys we have now; sometimes young players come in and don't really care about anything else other than playing – and I think that's what we've got.

"It's a good group. You don't have to really worry too much in big games or even games that don't mean as much, because they just love to be out there competing."