Melbourne’s season fell of a cliff after their bye last year and coach Paul Roos has challenged his players to make sure this campaign doesn’t suffer a similar fate.
Last year, the Demons sat in 14th spot on the ladder after an encouraging start that yielded three wins from nine games as they turned for home after their bye but managed just one more win to finish above wooden spooners St Kilda by percentage only.
Roos’ side have already won four games with 10 matches to come as they resume from this year’s break with a trip to Darwin to take on West Coast.
“Most teams like it and enjoy it but the challenge is to get going after the bye,” Roos said on Wednesday.
“We’re certainly looking forward to the second half of the year. We didn’t handle it well last year. We felt we felt our first half was good and we need to handle it better this year.”
Roos has already had a good look at plenty of his younger players at AFL level this campaign due to a slew of injuries, with the coach eager to get his list as healthy as possible and win games rather than experiment with his line-up.
Melbourne enjoyed an upset win over Richmond heading into last year’s bye and managed an even more impressive feat this season in defeating Geelong at Simonds Stadium in their last match before the break.
“It was a good win against Geelong,” Roos said.
“The players are starting to get a bit more confident in each other and the game plan and what they can deliver.
“But we still need to be able to do that week in, week out. That’s our next challenge.”
The Demons will be bolstered by the returns of Jesse Hogan and Colin Garland for the clash against the Eagles.