Melbourne coach Mark Neeld says he can fit both Collingwood’s Chris Dawes and Essendon’s Scott Gumbleton in the Demons’ attack if they can be persuaded to join the AFL club.
The Demons, along with the Western Bulldogs and Carlton, are waiting on Magpies premiership key forward Dawes to choose his preferred club, a decision expected this weekend.
Neeld has also sounded out Gumbleton about his future.
But rather than viewing the Bomber as simply a secondary option if Dawes goes elsewhere, the Demons coach said he would be happy to have both play alongside fellow tall forward Mitch Clark.
“That would be alright, I reckon, Clark, Gumbleton, Dawes, they’d all get a game,” Neeld told reporters on Thursday.
He said ideally the Demons, who have already picked up Geelong dual premiership player Shannon Byrnes, would gain four to six experienced players during the trade period.
But after missing out on Collingwood’s Sharrod Wellingham, Neeld said they were not currently talking to any other midfielders and would take their picks to the draft if the right options didn’t emerge.
“There is a line or a tipping point, we’re not going to just throw them away,” he said.
While it has been speculated that Dawes is leaning towards the Bulldogs, Neeld said he believed the Demons were still in with a decent chance.
He said his own status as a former Collingwood assistant and new Carlton coach Mick Malthouse’s previous job as Dawes’ senior coach at the Magpies helped the bids of the Blues and Demons.
“We used that for everything it was worth,” Neeld said.
“Leigh Brown (Dawes’ former teammate and now Melbourne assistant) and I rolled around to see Dawesy straight away.
“… That’s really important, so we know what type of player Chris is.
“We’d really like to have him at the Melbourne footy club and we’ll wait until the end of the weekend, he may or may not be.”
Neeld also wished Melbourne’s 2011 best and fairest Brent Moloney well with Brisbane, after the midfielder used his free agent status to quit the Demons.