AFTER a successful finals berth Melbourne recruited well and hunted some stars at the draft to help bolster their stocks and put them in good stead for another September appearance.
Tom Sparrow – Inside Midfielder
The talented midfielder will be a great addition to the Melbourne line-up with his tackling pressure and ferocity at the contest. Sparrow has great leadership qualities and impresses with his nous to pick the ball up around the contest and burst away from the pack. With his run and endurance Sparrow will be of great value to the Demons who already have a star midfield with Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Nathan Jones in the middle. He has proven that he is a team first sort of player willing to shepherd, work hard in transition and applies his fair share of defensive pressure. Sparrow’s versatility is also a key feature of his game which will appeal to Melbourne and with further development his decision making will improve making him a real force to be reckoned with.
James Jordon – Outside Midfielder
The Oakleigh Chargers product will provide some great outside run to the Demons with his best work done on the outskirts of the ground and delivering the ball into the forward 50. Jordon is renowned for his accuracy by foot and good decision making with ball in hand which will be beneficial to Melbourne who at times lacked composure when entering their forward half. He can often play as that link-up player who can connect passages of play and impact the contest with his high footy IQ.
Aaron Nietschke – Tall Utility
Nietschke has shown that he is versatile and can play across the ground such is his skill and ability to read the play. The South Australian knows how to win the footy and can rack up the touches as displayed throughout his games at SANFL level. He is a readymade player that could slot into Melbourne’s line-up credit to his poise and composure with ball in hand. Standing at 183cm the utility could help to bolster defensive stocks, swing forward for the Dees or even feature in the midfield credit to his flexibility. With his strong hands and running ability Nietschke is a surety as he can do the simple things well.
Marty Hore – General Defender
Collingwood VFL gun, Marty Hore was snapped up by Melbourne. The Collingwood VFL best and fairest will offer plenty of experience and skill in the back end for the Dees. Having played two exceptional seasons at VFL level, Hore is ready for the big stage and could easily slot into the line-up if given the chance. There is no doubt that he is solid under pressure, can take strong intercept marks and has silky skills with his only improvements involving his speed and tackling. If he is to take the next step in the red and blue, Hore will want to attack the ball carrier more often and use his footy IQ to break away from stoppages. Credit to his hard work and skill Hore can body up on bigger forwards making him a real threat defensively.
Toby Bedford – Small Forward/Midfielder
The Next Generation Academy member is an exciting prospect for Melbourne who oozes skill, class and speed. His agility is second to none and could really challenge for a spot in the Dees best 22. With speed to burn Bedford can burst away from the pack and cause havoc around goals if given the chance. He impresses with his aerial capabilities and can also go to work at ground level scrapping the ball and posing as a dangerous pressure forward. Even though he has a light frame the former Dandenong Stingrays player can lay a ferocious bump and is not afraid to get involved in the contest. While he may not win big numbers of the footy, it is what he does with the ball that counts.
Kade Chandler – Small Forward
The boy from South Australia can pose as a dangerous small forward but can also play as an inside midfielder who can win the ball at the coalface. Chandler’s tackling pressure and desire to lock the ball inside his attacking 50 is a real feature of his game and will be a handy inclusion in Melbourne’s forward line. He provides that additional element of dynamism to the group and has a high endurance which will appeal to the club. While his endurance is solid, it is his vertical leap that impresses the most making him a real danger.
Melbourne locked down high pressure players that can hit the scoreboard and attack the oppositions defence through recruiting small damaging forwards. They also added to the midfield depth through looking at players who could play on the outside to help add some extra dash across the ground. All in all, the Demons tried to recruit a wealth of youth to ensure that they can keep their finals dreams alive and use their speed and attacking prowess to cut teams open.