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Melbourne Demons 2017 Season Preview - Will the Demons end an 11-year AFL Finals drought?

Adam Cusworth 21 Feb 2017
  • Demons trending up as Simon Goodwin takes over as coach
  • Key recruits include Michael Hibberd and Jordan Lewis 
  • Melbourne have not played finals since 2006

Can the Melbourne Demons end one of the longest drought's in football by returning to the finals action for the first time since 2006 or will it be another year of frustration for the fans of the red and blue?

Here is our preview of Melbourne's hopes in 217.

2016 position: 11th

2017 Difficulty Rating: 5/10

Off season movements

ARRIVALS: Mitchell Hannan, Dion Johnstone, Michael Hibberd (Essendon), Jordan Lewis (Hawthorn), Pat McKenna (GWS)
DEPARTURES: Jack Grimes, Chris Dawes, Matt Jones, Max King, Viv Michie, Ben Newton, Dean Terlich, Lynden Dunn (Collingwood)

Preview

Under Paul Roos' three year tenure at the club, Melbourne improved from 17th in 2014 to 13th in 2015 to 10th last season. Simon Goodwin takes over as coach and the Dees look well placed to play finals in 2017. 

The trajectory would suggest the Dees are a serious chance of breaking into the top 8 and CrownBet have rated the Dees a $2.25 chance of achieving this, while they are at the odds of $26 to take out the 2017 Premiership. 

Melbourne can take some heart out of the recent improvement of the Western Bulldogs, who powered up from the bottom half of the ladder in 2014 to take out the flag last season. 

Goodwin has some A-grade players at his disposal including the All Australian ruckman, Max Gawn, as well as hard-nut midfielder, Jack Viney. The classy Michael Hibberd arrives to the club from Essendon, as does the four-time Hawthorn premiership player, Jordan Lewis. 

Lewis' experience in big games should help his new side to find a way to add some much needed consistency. In 2016, Melbourne would dazzle with some brilliant performances but would also put in the occasional shocker, dropping games they were expected to win. Losses to Essendon and Carlton would turn out to hurt the Dees at the latter end of the season. 

Lewis' new side has a chance to get their season off to a flyer. Their first seven games are scheduled to be played in Victoria, while five of the first six matches are against sides that failed to play finals in 2016. 

In other betting markets, Melbourne are at the odds of $4.75 to make the top 4 in 2017, while talented forward, Jesse Hogan, is a $21 chance of claiming the Coleman Medal. 

Key betting odds

Premiership: $26 CrownBet
Top 4: $4.75 CrownBet
Top 8: $2.25 CrownBet
To Miss Top 8: $1.66 CrownBet
Coleman Medal: Jesse Hogan $31 bet365

Prediction

Melbourne's time has finally arrived. Expect to see the Dees in the finals



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Melbourne Demons 2017 Season Preview - Will the Demons end an 11-year AFL Finals drought?

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