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1976

Coach: Bob Skilton
Captain: Stan Alves
Finishing Position: 6th
Best and Fairest: Greg Wells
Leading Goalkicker: Ray Biffin (47)
Best First Year Player: Peter O'Keefe

Matches Ladder Playing List Night Series Best and Fairest Reserves Under 19's


Image Strong practice match wins over Richmond and Hawthorn, and an opening round success against North Melbourne led some pundits to declare that Melbourne were a danger of making their first finals series since 1964. Writing in The Age Richmond's Royce Hart declared the Demons "the emerging force in the VFL".

The season began with a second field umpire for the first time but it was business as usual Melbourne who were tenth after Round 18 before a three game winning streak put the Demons on the brink of their first finals appearance in a decade going into the last day of the season. With shrewd off-season buys like Craig McKellar, Allan Davis and Laurie Fowler coming into form Bob Skilton even declared that they could give the premiership a shake if they qualified.

As long as they beat Collingwood, and minor premiers Carlton defeated 5th place Footscray at Princes Park they would be finalists for the first time since 1964. The Bulldogs were lucky to still have their destiny in their own hands, having beaten lowly Fitzroy with a kick after the siren the week before. Had centreman Alan Stoneham missed a Demon win at Victoria Park would have been enough to catapault Melbourne into the four no matter what happened at Princes Park.

The Demons did their job, beating wooden spooners Collingwood by 15 points at Victoria Park but Footscray, however, managed to hold off a fast finishing Carlton and earn a draw to take them into the finals in front of a side who would have to wait another 11 years to see a top 5 appearance.

Despite media reports linking Tom Hafey with the Demons at the end of the season the former Richmond premiership coach did not cross Yarra Park to the MCG and Skilton was reappointed for another year. It had been reported that Skilton's initial asking price was too high for Melbourne's committee. He eventually re-signed and Hafey joined Collingwood.

Henry Bolte and Lord Mayor Ron Walker were club patrons.

Practice Matches

Opposition
Result
Hawthorn WIN
Richmond WIN

Premiership Season

Round
Opposition
Result
1 North Melbourne WIN
2 Footscray LOSS
3 Essendon WIN
4 Carlton LOSS
5 Fitzroy WIN
6 South Melbourne WIN
7 Hawthorn LOSS
8 Richmond LOSS
9 St. Kilda WIN
10 Geelong LOSS
11 Collingwood LOSS
12 North MelbourneLOSS
13 Footscray WIN
14 CarltonLOSS
15 EssendonLOSS
16 Fitzroy WIN
17 South MelbourneLOSS
18 Hawthorn LOSS
19 RichmondWIN
20 St. KildaWIN
21 GeelongWIN
22 CollingwoodWIN

Ladder

W
D
L
%
P
Carlton1615132.866
Hawthorn1606114.264
North Melbourne1507116.860
Geelong12010103.948
Footscray1111096.846
Melbourne1101199.444
Richmond1001298.640
South Melbourne901394.036
St. Kilda901390.136
Essendon901388.236
Fitzroy701592.828
Collingwood601686.424

Playing List

NumberPlayerGamesGoals
1 Gary Baker 8 9
2 Robert Flower 1917
3 Barry Tippett 52
4 Tony Sullivan 150
5 Des Campbell 162
6 Ross Brewer 1834
7 Ray Smith 170
8 Peter Johnston 64
9 Laurie Fowler 224
10 Craig McKellar 1912
11 Greg Wells 2231
12 Marty Lyons 40
13 Henry Coles 2225
14 Neil Chamberlain 45
15 Stan Alves 1814
16 Peter Keays 133
17 Shane Grambeau 148
18 Maurice Wingate 20
19 Ray Biffin 2247
20 Paul Hurst 10
21 Allan Davis 2126
22 Frank Giampaolo 143
23 Shane Fitzsimmons 78
24 Graham Osborne 150
26 Gary Guy 73
27 Colin Graham 89
28 Anthony Dullard 152
29 Terry Wilkins 31
30 Peter Hamilton 40
31 Paul Goss 42
33 Gary Hardeman 207
35 Steven Smith 1933
36 David Kelly 20
37 Ted Carroll 126
38 Peter O'Keefe 71
41 Chris Woodman 79
43 Greg Hutchison 61
46 Glenn Walley 21

Best and Fairest

Player
1st Greg Wells 132
2nd Laurie Fowler 121
3rd Henry Coles 102
4th Steven Smith 84
5th Robbie Flower 66
6th Gary Hardeman 58

Other Awards
Redlegs Trophy - Steven Smith

Reserves

1976 Reserves Season

Best and Fairest - Ted Carroll
Second Best and Fairest - Robert Walters
Outstanding Service - Frank Giampaolo, Shane Grambeau, Chris Woodman

Image

Under 19's

Best and Fairest - Peter Geddes
Second Best and Fairest - Robert Zubin
Outstanding Service - Mark Davidson, Michael Giulieri, Neil Fergus
Image

Under 17's

Best and Fairest - Kelvin Richards
Second Best and Fairest - John Ellingworth
Outstanding Service Awards - Jim Durnan, Clinton Love
Best Clubman - Tim Nolan

Tribunal

RoundPlayerChargeSanction
Practice Match Paul Hurst Striking ?
Round 7 Des Campbell Striking 2 matches
Round 11 Tony Sullivan Striking Not Guilty


Media
"Past spirits emerging in Demons" - The Age 07/04/1976
"Stone end for Dogs rivals" - The Age 24/08/1976
"Hafey set for Demons" - The Age 22/09/1976

Links
Yearbook image courtesy of grandoldflag.net

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Thursday 23 January 2014 22:15:48 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 36)

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