Dwayne Russell can't wrap his head around Melbourne not activating their tactical sub Josh Schache in Friday night’s 71-73 Semi Final loss to Carlton.
Schache was a surprise selection as the substitute for the game as the Dees went with the tall forward who played just two games throughout the season (one as sub), over other more experienced emergencies in Brodie Grundy, Michael Hibberd and Bailey Laurie.
After Carlton got an immediate impact from their sub Ollie Hollands in the fourth quarter, Russell believes the Dees hamstrung themselves by playing 22 versus 23 and he labelled Goodwin’s decision not to use his 23rd man as crazy.
“The impact of Ollie Hollands versus Josh Schache as the sub, it was 23 versus 22,” Russell said on SEN Afternoons.
“That's one of the worst pre-game coaching decisions that we've seen for a long time.
“Why play a guy that you don't trust to bring on as your sub? Or not play a guy because you don't think he's going to be adding much? That’s crazy stuff to me.
“We’ll see if anyone says anything about that, but I think that's one of the key elements of that last eight or nine minutes.
“Melbourne didn't have a sub to bring on with fresh legs like Carlton did.
“It was 22 versus 23.”
Russell suggested the choice not to activate the sub is a decision Goodwin would like back. He also believes Schache should have come on for Tom McDonald, who had just two effective disposals and three marks across four quarters.
“Simon Goodwin would probably like some of his coaching decisions back,” Russell said.
“I think he needs to refine his act on a couple of things that they've done.
“The fact that they couldn't bring him (Schache) on or didn't bring him on … I thought that they should have brought him on to replace Tom McDonald.
“To have a sub that you don't play, that’s crazy stuff.”
Russell also didn’t agree with Goodwin’s decision to name Bailey Laurie as the sub in their Qualifying Final loss to Collingwood, as well as picking McDonald over the likes of Ben Brown and Grundy in both finals.
“I didn't agree with his sub the week before by the way in Bailey Laurie,” Russell said.
“I mean, he'd only played a handful of games and you're making him your sub.
“Decisions like playing Tom McDonald this final series I don't think we're great.”
Melbourne holds a 0-4 record in their last four finals and have the unfortunate tag of being the first team to fall out of finals in straight sets consecutively since the current finals system was introduced.