In episode nine of Inside Melbourne, it’s double trouble as the McDonald brothers join the team. We talk about the search for consistency in the win over St Kilda (2:00), look ahead to the trip to Brisbane to play Gold Coast (8:00), discuss Angus Brayshaw’s return to good football (13:00) and re-signing at the Melbourne Football Club (14:00). The brothers answer some questions from the outer (17:00), discuss their development this year as players (24:30) and tell us the last time they laughed hardest together (27:40).
MELBOURNE’S Tom and Oscar McDonald say they would like to remain in the red and blue, despite their contracts finishing at the end of the 2018 season.
Speaking on Inside Melbourne, the brothers said while both have begun their contract talks, they are yet to reach an outcome on a new deal.
“It would be amazing to have it done, it’s just a process,” Tom said.
“This can take months and months, going back and forward [between a manager and the Club].
“While you are making progress, maybe from the outside it looks like it’s stalling.”
The key tall, who made his return from a lingering foot injury in round six, said delay shouldn’t warrant speculation.
“I’d love to stay. It doesn’t guarantee that it’s happening, because you need two sides to agree to a contract, but it doesn’t mean I want to leave.”
At a similar stage in his negotiations, younger brother Oscar said he was confident a deal would eventually be done.
“We’ve had talks [going] back and forth, and at the moment we’re still talking,” he said.
“I don’t know anything about Tom’s [contract], but I’d love to stay at the club.
“I’m pretty confident that can happen.”
Coach Simon Goodwin has been full of praise for Oscar, after a strong start that has seen him take on some of the game’s biggest forwards.
The 22-year-old said it was “pretty awesome” for Goodwin to acknowledge his improvement, and give him additional responsibility as a key position player.
“In saying that he trusts me to do that role, and he’s identified me as the reliable guy to do that, I take a lot of confidence from that,” Oscar said.
“I can go out there and he’s got his faith in me to stop a good player on their team.
“I love it.”
Oscar’s increase in performance hasn’t gone unnoticed within the family either.
“You see the physical difference in terms of how he can actually play on these guys,” Tom said.
“All of a sudden he’s the one who can dictate the position, rather than being pushed around.
“I’ve also seen that difference in the confidence that he plays with, to actually go and get that ball and win it, rather than just go the defensive spoil out of bounds.”
Oscar was equally as complimentary of Tom’s start to the season, highlighting his versatility to play in several positions.
“The forward line suits him really well,” he said.
“When he was in the backline, his strengths were beating his man, intercepting the ball and going for his marks, but when you’re in the forward line, you don’t have any of those ‘what if’ sort of moments.
“Your mindset is to just fly and try to mark every ball, and I think that’s Tom’s natural flair and game.
“But the way he can move around the ground for a big guy is pretty unbelievable.”