Coach: John Northey
Captain: Robert Flower
Finishing Position: 11th
Best and Fairest: Greg Healy
Leading Goalkicker: Greg Healy (35)
Best First Year Player: Garry Lyon
Major Sponsor: Drake
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest||Reserves||Under 19's|
With Ron Barassi having announced his coaching retirement at the end of 1985, the search was on for a coach to try and do what he, Beckwith, Ridley, Skilton, Jones and Ditterich couldn't do - get Melbourne into the finals.
Interviewees for the vacant coaching role included David Parkin, Kevin Bartlett, Carl Ditterich, John Northey, Tom Hafey, Stan Alves and Greg Wells but it was Northey - formerly of Sydney who got the nod. The former Richmond player had spent a year north of the border, but had been sacked when his pragmatic style didn't fit into the flashy, marketing friendly vision of Swans owner Geoffrey Edelsten.
The club created a new structure for payment of players. The top 20 players on the list were given guaranteed contracts ranging from $10k to $30k a year. Robbie Flower was the only player given the maximum amount. Players ranked from 21 to 50 received a payment based on the games they played in.
1-9 games - $300 per game
10-16 games - $400 per game
17+ games - $500 per game
Senior listed players who did play seniors earned $200 per reserves win and $100 per reserves loss. The five best players in each game earned $2k, $1.5k, $1.2k, $800 and $500 respectively.
The top five in the Best and Fairest were given bonus of $8k, $6k, $3k, $2k and $1k.
Northey used 46 players for the year, the equal most of any Melbourne season ever.
In June it was revealed that Melbourne and Fitzroy had engaged in merger talks. President Stuart Spencer said "There is no point in Melbourne merging with anyone unless it becomes an immediate finals side. That would be the only reason we would consider a merger".
The club made a profit of $106,324, plus $666,667 in their share of the Brisbane and West Coast licence fees. It was a far cry from the $728,925 loss in 1985.
Best and Fairest
|Practice Match||Russell Richards||Time wasting||Cleared|
|Practice Match||Steve Turner||Striking||Fined|
|Round 3||Michael Reynolds||Striking||Guilty|
|Round 11||Steve Turner||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 15||Graeme Yeats||Striking||2 matches|