It’s the fondest of AFL farewells but Paul Roos will be aghast if that’s what motivates his Melbourne team against Geelong on Saturday.
Ross will coach the final game of his decorated career against Geelong at Simonds Stadium, vowing not to step back into the coaches box after a premiership-winning stint at Sydney and a three-year rebuild of foundation club Melbourne.
Among coaches, there are few as well liked or as well respected as Roos.
At the Swans he is revered.
In Melbourne circles, he is lauded.
And across the AFL, he is admired without exception.
While others might see the occasion as a chance to send off the boss with a win against finals-bound opposition, Roos said he’d rather his players were driven by the future.
“Internally it’s not at all ‘do it for Roosy’. There’s no mention of that at all and I hope there isn’t,” he said.
He he wants his young side to use the match against the high-flying Cats as a slingshot to 2017.
Surprisingly, Roos nominates the round 23 win last year against Greater Western Sydney as the most critical of his tenure with the Demons.
“As silly as it sounds, to go from six wins to seven and the vibe after that game, I think it drove the pre-season a fair bit,” he said.
“It led to a fantastic pre-season and some real excitement.”
“Up until then there was a fair bit of inconsistency … we talk about consistency, our percentage (in 2016) is 103 per cent.”
Considering Roos inherited a side that had won just two AFL matches, with a percentage of 54 for the season, it’s easy to see why the 53-year-old coach has already declared this season a success.
Looking back, Roos joked of chief executive Peter Jackson’s initial description of the club.
“He didn’t paint it like it was a Mona Lisa. It was a bit of a crayon thing from kindergarten when I got here”.
He is adamant he won’t return to coaching, dedicating next year to travel and family time.
There will be no shortage of job offers further up the AFL’s pecking order Roos, who took Sydney to the 2005 premiership before starting the renovation job at Melbourne.
Both sides have made three changes for Saturday’s match.
Roos has brought in Jeff Garlett, Christian Salem and James Harmes, dropping Clayton Oliver, Alex Neal-Bullen and Viv Michie.
Chris Scott has returned Jimmy Bartel, Josh Caddy and Daniel Menzel to his side, axing Shane Kersten and Darcy Lang while losing Lachie Henderson, who has undergone minor knee surgery.
The Cats will lock up a top-four finish with a win.