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Melbourne Football Club

Promising structural changes: Melksham

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Jake Melksham of the Demons in action during the 2019 AFL round 06 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Jake Melksham of the Demons in action during the 2019 AFL round 06 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)
A few blokes were playing in positions they haven’t played in for a little while, so I think it’s good to change things up and see how it goes.
Jake Melksham

MELBOURNE’S tough start to 2019 continued on Wednesday night as the Demons recorded their fifth loss from six games this season on ANZAC Day Eve.

While the 43-point defeat to Richmond was disappointing for the group, there were some positives to take from the result.

With five changes to the team from last week and a number of positional shuffles within the side, the Dees got to see some of their stars in different areas of the ground.

Jake Melksham was one to play a different role in Round 6, starting the game in the centre and spending his evening on-ball.

“I enjoyed it – it was a bit of a change up,” Melksham told Melbourne Media post-game.

“I played there early on in my career and we tried a few different things tonight which was a positive at times, but we’ve still got a bit to work on.”

The 27-year-old had 25 disposals in his new role, and produced a dominant opening term which included six inside 50s and four score involvements.

Although the Demons’ efforts to change things up didn’t correlate to a winning score, Melksham said it was good to trial some new tactics.

“Things weren’t working for us in the first four to five weeks, so it was time to do something different,” he said.

“A few blokes were playing in positions they haven’t played in for a little while, so I think it’s good to change things up and see how it goes.”

The Dees’ scoring has been an issue in the early part of the season, and they managed just six goals on Wednesday night.

Melksham said the group is well aware of the areas that require improvement and they’re trying to find the best solution going forward.

“Connection is something that we’ve been struggling at all year, so with myself going in there and Hibbo (Michael Hibberd) as well, we were trying to change it up a bit,” he said.

“We’ve just got a bit of work to do in that area to get back to where we were.”

Melbourne’s intent around the contest was evident in the early stages of the game and Melksham said the group was able to implement some of the things they had practiced during the week.

“We worked pretty hard on the little things tonight and we gave a fair bit of effort – I think it was a lot higher than in recent weeks,” he said.

“It’s something we have to keep working at, but it will come slowly so we can’t be disheartened by losing – we just have to keep chipping away to get that win.”

And while the Demons are in a tough position at this point, Melksham is confident things will turn around.

“We were pretty decent for most of the game in those areas with our effort,” he said.

“I think if we connect a little bit better going forward there will be a few more goals in the game and it will be a lot different on the scoreboard.”

Melbourne will now have a 10-day break in the lead up to its Round 7 clash with Hawthorn at the MCG.