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The reasons behind Dunstan’s move to the Demons


Luke Dunstan has offered the reasons as to why he has been recruited by Melbourne.

The Demons secured the midfielder as an unrestricted free agent after his time at St Kilda came to an end.

Dunstan, 26, explained how the move came about and why he decided to agree to join the Dees, citing culture as a key factor in his move.

“In the end it was a bit of a no-brainer for me,” he said on SEN Breakfast.

“I watched over the finals period with the boys that were playing pretty good footy and doing their interviews after the game, they were all very well spoken and kept bringing it back to their culture.

“Listening to that I thought it was very impressive and when they reached out and spoke to me, the things that they spoke about, in terms of that I’m 26 but they see a lot of improvement left in me. They’ve got a program set up to drive that and in the end it really was a no-brainer.”

Dunstan managed just 12 games in 2021 after playing just once at senior level in 2020, so some may see it as a strange move to join the reigning premiers who appear to have a well-stacked midfield.

But the 116-game former Saint is intent on working his way into the best 22 under Simon Goodwin regardless of the existing personnel.

“The chatter probably will be that you’re not going to get a game, you’ll be playing in the twos anyway, but I’m going to back myself in. I’m in a comfortable spot of where my footy is at,” he added.

“Speaking to ‘Goody’, he’s already spoken about that they’ll really be focusing on my strengths and that’s something that I’m excited by. I’m going to get in there and work my backside off.

“If it is that I’m not in the ones, it’s not the be-all and end-all. I’m just going to be excited to be a part of a happy group who are hopefully playing good footy and winning games.”

There is a strong link already present at the Demons with former Saints coach Alan Richardson in a central football performance role.

Dunstan tipped his hat to that connection while explaining what he can bring to a team that has already scaled the dizzying heights of a drought-breaking premiership.

“They spoke about what they liked in me, I’d worked with ‘Richo’ previously and that they value the culture highly,” he added.

“They spoke about me being a good cultural fit and if I wasn’t they wouldn’t have reached out to me.

“He (Goodwin) spoke to his players around anyone who has played in a premiership and played on that day, there’s no guarantees for them.

“Everyone comes back through the doors day one of pre-season on a level playing field and it will be who trains the best, who works the hardest and that was pretty appealing to me as well.”

With veteran Nathan Jones retiring, Dunstan sees an opportunity to bring some experience to a midfield group consisting of Jack Viney (27), Christian Petracca, Ed Langdon and Angus Brayshaw (all 25) and Clayton Oliver (24).

“They touched on the games of experience that they have going out with ‘Jonesy’ and that sort of thing,” he said.

“They’re obviously still pretty young. They told me that I was the second oldest midfielder, so that was pretty interesting.

“They were looking for someone in my age bracket with a bit of experience and hopefully I can bring that.”

Dunstan spent eight seasons with the Saints having been selected with pick 18 in the 2013 draft.

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