THERE’S no doubt starting the season with an 11-2 record puts a target on your back, but that’s a challenge Simon Goodwin is ready for.
In fact, it’s one the Demons’ coach has been craving.
“It’s a great experience to be in,” Goodwin told Melbourne Media.
“We want to be a team that has expectation, and we want to be a team that can operate and thrive in that situation.
“The experience where we sit now is a good one for us.
“I think it’s a wonderful position to be in, because it’s a position that we want to be in for a long period of time and experience and get better at.”
Melbourne has encountered plenty of other experiences across the first 13 rounds of 2021 as well, which will hold them in good stead for the back-half of the year.
While they haven’t always had matches on their own terms, the Dees’ ability to overcome any obstacle, and sometimes win ugly, has pleased Goodwin most.
“It’s incredibly important,” he said.
“We’ve been in situations throughout this whole season so far which has challenged us for a variety of different reasons.
“To be successful in this game you need to have all three phases of your game in check.
“You can’t win it with one phase operating well, you need all three phases to be able to sustain against any opposition.
“And you need to do it in different scenarios, whether that be away from home, different conditions, wet, dry, coming from behind, Friday night footy, big stage games, different environments, different stages.
“That will help build a resilience in the group that will hopefully stand up when the time’s right.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean Melbourne will win every game it plays.
Although that’s the aim, the lessons learned along the way are what will help prepare the club for the moments that matter most.
“I think where we sit now gives us a chance to continue to refine our game and get better,” Goodwin said.
“There’s no doubt there’ll be patches within the season where we may struggle at times, but it’s about building our game, our personnel and our method to a point that when we do hit the pointy end of the season, we’re in good shape and we can play multiple ways.”