GENERAL manager of football operations Josh Mahoney says the club was rapt with how the trade period eventuated.
Although Mahoney said it had been a full-on period, he was particularly pleased with what the club and recruiting/list management team was able to achieve.
“It’s another period over and another 10 nights of not sleeping – not just for myself, but for Todd Viney, Jason Taylor and the recruiting team,” he said.
“Going into the trade period, we knew we didn’t have a round one pick and that was used last year for Sam Weideman, so we had a second round pick and we’d already highlighted that we wanted to bring Michael Hibberd into our club.
“We didn’t think we’d be too active, but as it’s turned out, we’re delighted with how it’s worked out. We’d probably summarise it by saying we took the most of our opportunities that came up – and the main one was Jordan Lewis.
“That came up in the past two weeks off the back of some conversations we’d had with Hawthorn and he made a phone call through to Todd. We’re really proud of how quickly the club was able to come together on that.
“It involves everyone from the medical team to do a screening of Jordan through to a group of people to get together with Jordan and put a presentation to him and sell the club to him. Then to actually negotiate a deal with Hawthorn and then a contract – to be able to do that in a short period of time and get the result, I’m really proud of being able to do that.”
Mahoney said Lewis and Hibberd added experience that Melbourne was after.
“They play the way we want them to play and the way we want our young guys to play. They’re courageous and very much contested players, so they’re going to be great for our young players.”
“To be able to bring in Pat McKenna into our club, as soon as our draft position looked as though it was going to be late picks, we assessed Pat McKenna against pick 84 and to be able to bring in a guy we’ve tracked very closely in his draft year – he’s been at GWS for two years – we thought it was a no-brainer.
“To make some slight adjustments to our draft position after that [was also important].”
Mahoney said it wasn’t every day that a four-time premiership player such as Lewis wanted to join the club.
“The reaction from our members and our players to Jordan coming to the club … it gives people a lot of heart about what we’re trying to create as a footy club,” he said.
“We’ve spoken for a long period that we want to be a destination club. Maybe this is one other step to say that since Paul Roos joined our club and made the decision to come – the people we’ve been able to attract to our club in that time like Simon Goodwin and Brendan McCartney and the players we’ve been able to bring in, we’re slowly getting to that stage.
“The next stage is actually we have to perform on the footy field and that’s when you start to get even more attractive as a club.”
Mahoney said the club will have “two or three” live picks in the draft.
“We’ve got to get to a stage where draft night is not the highlight of our year. That’s probably what it has been for a period of time. We’ve had a lot of top 10 picks … but we’re going in with our first pick at 47 and then 59 and we’ll make a decision about our third pick,” he said.
“It’s a different position and our recruiting team has done a great job – not only with the high end picks, but they’ve also shown with our rookies and late picks that they’ve found some really good players.
“They’ll be doing their research and we’ll back in that they can bring in two players that are hopefully going to bring us to the next level as a footy club.”
Mahoney also acknowledged the career of former vice-captain Lynden Dunn, who crossed to Collingwood on the final day of the trade period, after 165 matches for Melbourne from 2006-16.
“In a way we’re happy that it happened, because it was off the back of a conversation with Dunny at the end of the year, about his lack of opportunities and wanting to extend his career,” he said.
“To be able to get a deal done at Collingwood … as much as he’s a Melbourne person and he’s done a lot of great things for the club – he’ll leave as a life member.
“He said he’ll hopefully watch us play in the finals and we might have to play against Collingwood, so we’ll see how that goes.”