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Former assistant praises Goodwin’s “unwavering” vision for Grand Final win


Former Melbourne strategy coach Craig Jennings has given an insight into Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin’s “unwavering” attitude that saw the club win its breakthrough premiership.

Goodwin and his players delivered Dees supporters their first flag in 57 years, when they smashed the Bulldogs by 74 points in September.

The team made a Preliminary Final in 2018 in Goodwin’s second season, but struggled the following two years.

Their spectacular return to form in 2021 surprised plenty and Jennings believes the former Crow's influence - which began years ago - had a big impact.

“In the heavy lifting early days, how much of that was important in terms of the Grand Final?” Jennings said on SEN's Whateley.

“Goody’s (Goodwin’s) vision … He was absolutely unwavering from the start on what it looked like to win a premiership.

“I remember early in 2019 when things weren’t going well and he was basically saying, ‘Adversity is going to win us a premiership,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve had enough adversity, I just want to start winning'.

“But he just never wavered, and he explains it like guiding a ship in rough water, you go to work every day and you just keep guiding the ship back to the direction you need it to go, you don’t know what you’re going to face day to day.”

Premiership coach Mark Williams, who joined the club as an assistant for 2021, is often spoken about as the man who drove the club's high training standards throughout the year.

High performance manager Darren Burgess left the club after the season, but is also known to have had a huge impact.

However, Jennings believes Goodwin took training standards to “the next level” from when he was appointed, and ultimately played a huge part of the Grand Final win.

“He complements that with training standards … Goody just took it to the next level, it was training and education,” Jennings said.

“The stuff you do preparing for training, the stuff you do on the track, but then educating the game plan off field.

“I was just watching (the Grand Final) thinking this team believes it’s the fittest team out there and eventually they broke the Bulldogs.”

The Grand Final win made Goodwin Melbourne's first premiership coach since Norm Smith in 1964.


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