ON THE BACK of a nightmare 2019 campaign and a missed opportunity in 2020, something had to change for the Demons.

They were at risk of wasting a talented list, if the tide couldn’t turn in 2021.

And after nine rounds of the home and away season, the undefeated Dees look to have resolved their problems.

It’s a small sample size, but Melbourne sits atop of the table, undefeated; so, what’s the difference?

Well, the skipper, Max Gawn, believes it’s the selflessness in every individual which has helped eradicate some bad habits, and sees this team functioning better than ever.

“There was times where two guys would go up for the same mark, competing for marks,” Gawn said on the Gus and Gawny podcast.

“Or one guy would get 40 (disposals), and the other guy would get 20 touches and be bitter about that 40.

“And there’s times where that was happening in the past few years.

“That’s where our maturity has come this year a little bit with our growth.”

That focus on personal success needed to shift, and a pre-season chat helped do so.

“We weren’t really able to solve a lot of our issues until we opened up and started talking,” Gawn said.

“We just spoke about where we want to get to as a team.

“There were guys that had individual accolades – they’re not really worth getting if you’re not playing as a team and not getting that success.”

Gawn, who is a four-time All Australian and dual Best and Fairest winner, is no stranger to performing in a struggling side.

But after 11 years in the system, he would sacrifice his own game to see those around him stand taller.

“I’ve been involved myself going for marks I probably shouldn’t of,” he said.

“Just watching Jake Lever take the mark instead of me brings happiness.

“You can see that I’ve been able to resolve it, not saying I was that player that always wanted to be best on ground or anything like that, but … I’m much more happier with the person that I am right now.

“And [I’m] not necessarily in the best of form, but the team is and I feel like I’m leading well, compared to the player I was in 2019.”

While the Dees haven’t achieved anything yet, they have had nine opportunities to set up their season, and they have done just that.

49:12 Mins
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Gus and Gawny | Ryan Shelton

In another big episode of Gus and Gawny the hilarious Ryan Shelton joins the team and the #positivelingers t-shirt designs are released.

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