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After coming so close to a premiership in 1954, the Demons completed their rebuild in style with their seventh VFL premiership despite suffering a terrible injury plague in the first half of the season.
Before the year started Bert Chadwick, the captain-coach of the 1926 side, had remarked how flexible the Melbourne side was, and of their blend of youth, experience and all-round athleticism - and 10 weeks into the season the side were everything that Chadwick had described without having suffered defeat.
The Demons 10 wins in a row were a club record, beating the previous mark set in 1937, and after a brief drop off in the middle of the year, the team straightened out and finished the season as minor premiers. They could have done it even more comfortably had they not been shockingly inaccurate during the year, kicking 214.275 for the season.
Pitted against Collingwood, the side they had suffered their first loss of the season to, for a chance to go straight to the Grand Final the Demons duly delivered in front of more than 88,000 fans.
The Pies won through to the decider via the preliminary final and the two sides clashed again. Frank Adams and Des Healey came together heavily in one of the most famous grand final clashes, but the Demons would go on to win by 28 points.
Before the 1956 season started Norm Smith publicly answered critics who had accused his side of playing in a dirty fashion, but saying that the club had "never tolerated a player who plays unfairly." At the end of the year he admitted not having a perfect tam, saying "We are realists down at Melbourne. Although we won the premiership last year we know we didn't have a perfect team, and we won without a good attack." He praised the defence, saying it was "near perfect, with solidity, vigour and pace nicely mixed", but said he still needed to strengthen one wing and the half-forward line.
In August, the Runner was first introduced to VFL football, with each club having one designated trainer who could pass messages to players. A 15 metre penalty was introduced before the start of the year to penalise players who held others after a mark, encroached over the mark or refused to return the ball when required. Boundary umpires were first provided whistles to signal when the ball went out of bounds.
Denis Cordner was vice-captain of Victoria's team which played Western Australia in June and South Australia in July.
In the off-season Melbourne played in a basketball competition for professional footballers.
Some sources say Denis Cordner was runner-up in the Best and Fairest.