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Melbourne Football Club

We can follow Hawks’ footsteps: Lewis

MELBOURNE is building a potent midfield capable of challenging the best sides in the competition, according to four-time premiership Hawk and new Demon Jordan Lewis.

The experienced recruit can see similarities between the depth of talent among the Demons' onball brigade and that of his previous club. 

Led by Lewis, Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge, Hawthorn has long been considered a benchmark in that important area over the past five years. 

"I can't see why not," Lewis said when asked if Melbourne's midfield can follow in the footsteps of the Hawks.

"I don't want to put expectations or a ceiling on the group. We've got a lot of kids who were drafted really early, but that only gets you so far. 

"What we've seen is that these kids are competitive as well, which is what I like about them." 

Lewis pointed to the development of second-year midfielder Clayton Oliver as an example of why he has high hopes for what his new club can produce.

Oliver, 19, was best afield in the Demons' 30-point win over St Kilda last Saturday, racking up game-highs in disposals (36), clearances (nine), centre clearances (six), tackles (seven) and contested possessions (14).

"I nearly fell over when I read that Clayton Oliver had only played 14 games," Lewis said.

"He's come a really long way this year and I have the confidence that he's going to put in consistent games back-to-back.

"The thing you need with midfielders is depth and I think we've got that at the moment.

"We've been pretty lucky with injuries so we haven't had to run a hell of a lot of players through there but no matter who goes out or who comes in we expect exactly the same."

Lewis said having such a dominant ruckman in Max Gawn allows the Demons to be proactive in the way they set up at stoppages.

Despite being hampered by a back strain, Gawn had 49 hit-outs in another top-notch display against the Saints.

"He was exceptional when he came back from that 10-minute spell on the bench," Lewis said.

"It gives you so much confidence going to a stoppage because you can plan for where we're going to get it and if something else happens you can have someone else in their hit spot.

"But it certainly gives you confidence going to a stoppage knowing you've got the ruck quality of Max."

The Demons will be out to make it two wins from two starts against Carlton at the MCG on Sunday.

Lewis stressed the importance of backing up last week's performance against the Saints against what he expects will be a fired-up Carlton side.

"We understand they're going to come back with fire in their belly and 'Bolts' (Carlton coach Brendon Bolton) will have them all revved up, so we need to be ready for that and still try to play (the way) we want to play," Lewis said.

Gawn was on light duties at training on Tuesday, while spearhead Jesse Hogan (ankle) was not out on the track but instead completed an off-legs session in the gym.

Melbourne insists the star pair will play against Carlton.