STEVEN May’s second season as a Demon is certainly one to be proud of.
The 28-year-old, who joined Melbourne during the 2018 Trade Period, took his game up a notch in 2020, showing his true value as a key defender.
May conceded just 20 goals across his 17 games (according to Champion Data) and was consistently among the best – a feat that earned him a Sid Anderson Memorial Trophy as runner-up in the Dees’ Best and Fairest.
After playing only eight games in 2019, the former Suns captain had plenty to prove this time around, which was his driving force.
“All I wanted to do after the club went out and traded and got me; I wanted to pay that back,” May said at the club’s night of nights.
“I obviously let everyone down last year, so I just wanted to try and get fit, and try and play my role each week.”
May’s stats this season speak for themselves.
He took 32 intercepts marks and managed 90 rebound 50s, while he was ranked fifth in the league for spoils.
But although his numbers are impressive, his attitude proved to be just as important.
Alongside a second placing, May was also awarded the James McDonald Trophy, which is voted by the players, and the Coaches’ Award.
And there was one coach in particular that he wanted to thank.
“To the coaches, to Goody: It’s no secret I didn’t have the best year last year and you hit me between the eyes with some honest feedback,” May said.
“You’re a bit of a father figure. You didn’t go soft on me, but you helped me and supported me.”
While his fitness played a big role in his success this season, May’s mindset has also been a focus.
And 80 days in a hub with his teammates and their partners, coaches and club staff had great benefits.
“I come from a big family and have been living on my own in the past,” he said.
“To be put in this sort of environment and to have the kids running around – it really is like a breath of fresh air for me.
“I really do think that’s had a big impact on my football and on my mental headspace.”