Former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon slammed the Demons and called their elimination from the AFL finals a “failed season.” The Demons exited the finals early for the second consecutive year after losing to Carlton 11.7 (73) to 9.17 (71).
The Melbourne Demons haven’t won a post-season match since winning their historic premiership in 2021. What’s even worse, all four finals defeats came at home, at the MCG.
In 2022, when Melbourne finished second, they lost to both Sydney and Brisbane. This year, the Demons were fourth and were beaten by Collingwood and Carlton.
A Bitter Pill to Swallow
Lyon, a leading Melbourne goalkicker in 1994 and 1995, said that whichever way you looked at it, for the Demons, it was a failed season and “a bitter pill to swallow.”
He was also sympathetic for Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin, saying he must have felt “gutted” after being in the top four for 58 of 62 weeks and winning only a single premiership.
Seven-time All-Australian great Nathan Buckley added that after such a close defeat all decisions of the losing coach would be scrutinized and people would say it was the wrong thing to do. On the other hand, the plays that Carlton and Michael Voss made would be hailed as the right decisions.
Melbourne Coach Rues Missed Opportunities
Goodwin, who recently extended his stay in Melbourne until 2026, thought they had “enough shots to win the game” but they couldn’t convert their chances. The coach blamed the loss on the team’s “inefficiency with the ball.”
The premiership-winning coach was disappointed that the Demons have set themselves up to do well in the finals, but lost “twice in straight sets.” So, it was only natural that there would be criticism and adversity within the group.
However, the coach said he knew that as a football club, they needed to add to the “list that’s building” and look forward to the future.
Godwin lamented the injuries of Jake Melksham and Harrison Petty, saying they didn’t help, while Jacob van Rooyen’s one-game suspension was the latest of the blows Melbourne had to deal with.
However, the coach didn’t want to look for excuses and admitted that, at the end of the day, it was the opportunities they didn’t take that cost them.