Melbourne players reported for day one of pre-season on Monday as they began their quest for back-to-back premierships in 2022.
The Demons celebrated their drought-breaking 2021 flag at the MCG on Sunday with over 30,000 fans and several former players attending the event more than two months after the club’s Grand Final win over the Western Bulldogs at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the reigning premiers on the opening day of pre-season with premiership defender Jake Lever fainting during a gruelling running drill at Casey Fields.
Despite Lever’s scare, Kane Cornes has been impressed by Melbourne’s immediate shift of focus to their premiership defence after Sunday’s celebrations.
“They’re nailing it, Melbourne. They’re nailing everything,” Cornes told SEN Breakfast.
“When you win a premiership, there’s that fine balance of celebrating but then moving on at the right time.
“So they celebrated on Sunday, they did that so well, and I reckon so many clubs in the future will follow suit and do what Melbourne did.
“They’ve celebrated the premiership, but then first day back, they’ve just gone bang. It signalled that we’re moving on and trying to make it two in a row.
“That was a signal on day one of pre-season.”
New Melbourne high performance boss Selwyn Griffith oversaw his first session since replacing Darren Burgess who returned to Adelaide to join the Crows.
SEN Breakfast co-host Sam Edmund thinks the timing of Burgess’ exit and Griffith’s arrival is ideal for the club.
“I reckon this is almost perfect timing,” Edmund said.
“As good as Darren Burgess is – possibly the best in the country – he’s left at the perfect time.
“Because Selwyn Griffith has come in and if there’s going to be a hangover, he doesn’t want it to be on his watch, so he’s almost going harder again.”
Melbourne opens their 2022 campaign against the Bulldogs at the MCG in a Grand Final rematch on Wednesday March 16.