Coach: Norm Smith
Captain: Geoff Collins
Finishing Position: 4th (runners up)
Best and Fairest: Denis Cordner
Leading Goalkicker: Noel Clarke (51)
Best First Year Player: Robert B Johnson
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest||Seconds|
Having finished in the bottom two twice in the previous three seasons, the Demons had blooded a number of young players and were expected to climb up the ladder in '54, but nobody could have forecast how fast they would rise.
Two new rule changes came into effect, firstly players who took a mark on the goal or behind line would have the man on the mark stand back at least five yards. It was also put into the rules that if the field umpire missed a boundary umpires 'out of bounds' signal and a score was registered then it would be nullified as soon as the two umpires could confer.
The season opened with a loss, and Melbourne barely scraped into the finals with a last round win against South Melbourne despite having a percentage below a hundred. They then pulled off a shock victory against North Melbourne in the Semi Final before pulling off an even bigger upset in the Preliminary Final to send minor premiers Geelong out of the finals in straight sets.
Despite the promise of a financial bonus for the best player in the finals, raised by selling a bull donated by a supporter, the fairytale run came to an end in the Grand Final, handing Footscray their first and so far last league premiership.
All four grades (Seniors, seconds, thirds and fourths) made their finals.
At the end of the season Melbourne supported a motion to remove the district system and allow players to choose the clubs they wanted to play for no matter where they lived. Despite strong support from Collingwood and Fitzroy the motion didn't have the necessary 75% support to be carried.
Best and Fairest
Best and Fairest - Ken Albiston
Leading Goalkicker: Peter Brenchley - 28
|SF||Bob McKenzie||Striking||4 matches|
Image courtesy Boyles Football Photos