Coach: Neale Daniher
Captain: David Neitz
Finishing Position: 14th
Best and Fairest: James McDonald
Leading Goalkicker: Russell Robertson (42)
Best First Year Player: Ricky Petterd
Major Sponsor: Primus Telecommunications
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest|
After finishing as the best placed Victorian team in 2006, Melbourne were considered one of the best chances of bringing the premiership cup home in 2007 after an extended period of interstate dominance. Three straight years of finals meant 28 players on the list had finals experience, and the blend of youth and experience was seen as a perfect combination to take the next step in 2007, however with a number of players recovering from off-season surgeries Neale Daniher expected a slow start.
The leadership group consisted of David Neitz (captain), Cameron Bruce, Brad Green, Brock McLean and James McDonald.
Opening the season on a Friday night in Round 1 against St. Kilda showed that the AFL had faith in them as one of the 'entertainers' for '07. A Matthew Whelan shirtfront on Luke Ball lit up the crowd, but from that moment nothing went right for the Demons for the next two months. Brock McLean, threatening to become a superstar after his 2006 finals performance, broke his foot in the same game and the Demons would go on an extended winning streak.
In 2006 they had lost the first three but bounced back to play an exciting brand of football, but as the third loss became a fourth loss and they suddenly found themselves 0-9 the club was plunged into crisis. Heartbreaking losses against Port Adelaide and the Kangaroos kept them winless before finally breaking through for a victory against Adelaide in Round 10. Another win the next week over Collingwood had some jokingly talking about a run to the finals, but a Round 12 loss to fellow cellar-dwellars Richmond saw any optimism come to a crashing halt.
Neale Daniher was informed that he would have to reapply for his job and promptly announced that he would leave his job after the Round 13 match against his old side Essendon. Once more the Demons suffered a thrilling loss - from a Scott Lucas goal with 11 seconds remaining - and Daniher stepped aside to make way for Mark Riley.
Riley won his coaching debut against the struggling Blues, but the side then embarked on another four week losing streak. Highlights were few and far between over those four matches, but Michael Newton memorably took Mark of the Year in the Round 16 loss to the Kangaroos.
A comfortable win over the Western Bulldogs in Round 19 arrested the slide, but on a night where David Neitz became the first Melbourne player to achieve 300 games, the Demons were losers again against Collingwood in a rare Friday night match.
Round 22 saw a bizarre game where both Melbourne and Carlton would gain more from losing than winning. The difference, however, was a #3 pick for the Blues against a priority pick at the end of the first round for the Demons. Neither side showed a particular interest in defence and Travis Johnstone raked in a career high 42 possessions.
Despite the club's poor season they set an all-time membership record of 28,077.
West Coast superstar, and childhood Melbourne fan, Chris Judd named Melbourne as one of his preferred clubs to negotiate with for his return to Victoria but eliminated the Demons from the running before choosing Carlton over Collingwood.
In trade week Travis Johnstone was swapped to the Brisbane Lions for selection 14 in the 2007 Draft (Jack Grimes), and John Meesen joined from Adelaide for selection 38 (Myke Cook).
Best and Fairest
Each member of the match committee gives up to five players a rating out of 10 after each game. The maximum number of votes a player can receive per game is 40.
Best Team Player - Brad Green
Redlegs Trophy for Best Clubman - Lynden Dunn
Most Improved - Michael Newton
Most Consistent - James McDonald
Troy Broadbridge Memorial Trophy - Ryan Ferguson
|NAB Cup R1||Adem Yze||Attempted Trip||Reprimand|
|Round 6||Colin Sylvia||Front-On Contact||Reprimand|
|Round 6||Aaron Davey||Charging||Reprimand|
|Round 6||Travis Johnstone||Abusive Language||$900 fine|
|Round 7||Ben Holland||Contact to the Face||Reprimand|
|Round 14||Colin Sylvia||Wrestling||Withdrawn|
|Round 14||Aaron Davey||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 16||Simon Godfrey||Head contact||Withdrawn|
|Round 21||Brock McLean||Wrestling||$900 fine|
|Round 21||Brad Miller||Wrestling||$3000 fine|
|Round 22||Michael Newton||Striking||Reprimand|
Mark Riley - Assistant Coach (until end Round 13)
Paul Williams - Assistant Coach
Peter Curran - Assistant Coach
Barry Prendergast - Assistant Coach (from Round 14)