MELBOURNE player/coach performance manager Brendan McCartney provides an update on all 45 players in the lead-up to the 2017 season. Be sure to check back each day for most of January, as we present this year’s squad …

Christian Petracca

He’s just showing a great zest and love of the game. Christian has some incredibly exciting things in his play, particularly his power. We’re most enjoying that he’s still quite raw in a footy sense because he’s missed a bit of footy. He just played with that flair and carefree approach, which is a great way to play. We’re not trying to bind that up too much – we’re just trying to find a little bit of balance with it. He’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Christian Salem

He’s been terrific this summer. Christian arrived back from his post-season break very fit. You just see him at training at times and his pure class comes out. All Melbourne people have seen enough snippets of Christian at his best to know that we’ve got a special young player on our hands.

Joel Smith

Joel is a good story. He’s the son of Shaun, who played for North Melbourne and then Melbourne. Joel comes from a basketball background and is a category B rookie. I won’t say that he came close, but he came into consideration to play in the AFL late last year, after some really good, solid form in the VFL. He’s just got something about him that draws you to him – the way he moves and the way he changes direction and the way he can jump straight up. He catches your eye.