Coach: Denis Jones
Captain: Greg Wells
Finishing Position: 12th (last)
Best and Fairest: Garry Baker
Leading Goalkicker: Henry Coles (33)
Best First Year Player: Peter Thorne
Major Sponsor: Mayne Nickless

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

Bob Skilton exited as coach and was replaced by former player Denis Jones who came straight off the Committee. He brought fellow Norm Smith era players Ian Thorogood, Colin Wilson and Tony Bull as assistants but his sole season in charge was a disaster and the side finished last again. He was dispatched as coach at the end of the years, just one year into a two year contract.

The major rule change of the season was that the 19th and 20th men were made interchange players and allowed to leave and enter the field at will but the rule failed to have any positive effects on the Demon side who blooded 12 new players and used 41 for the season.

In June, Melbourne was one of six clubs charged by the VFL with interviewing Fitzroy player Graeme Allen without his club's permission. They were not fined.

Twelve straight losses in the middle of the season contributed to another wooden spoon and officials and players were forced to hold a conference to discuss the on-field performance after the eighth consecutive loss, an 89 point thrashing by Carlton in Round 15.

Supporters were scathing in letters and phone calls to the club and chairman Jim Mitchell said "I don't suppose I can blame them". Even coach Jones admitted that there were five players in his team that weren't up to league standards. By conceding over 100 points in 20 of 22 matches they set a record which was to be equalled in 1981.

When Wayne Reid replaced John Mitchell as club president he promised a review of all coaching positions, and within three weeks Jones was out of a job. He claimed to have resigned, but either way he wouldn't go on to coach a second season. Melbourne were desperate to appoint Leigh Matthews as playing coach. They approached him, illegally in the eyes of Hawthorn who reported them to the VFL, then successfully set their sights on Carl Ditterich to take the role. The Hawks also refused permission for Melbourne to interview former coach John Kennedy for the job.

Practice Matches

Collingwood LOSS100-162
Richmond LOSS122-158

AMCO-Herald Cup

1 St. Kilda LOSS57-96

Premiership Season

1 HawthornLOSS68-147
2 FitzroyWIN167-157
3 CarltonLOSS85-98
4 FootscrayWIN127-120
5 RichmondLOSS59-130
6 St. KildaLOSS141-204
7 GeelongWIN139-126
8 North MelbourneLOSS61-137
9 EssendonLOSS60-102
10 South MelbourneLOSS92-162
11 CollingwoodLOSS67-127
12 HawthornLOSS108-128
13 FitzroyLOSS61-141
14 FootscrayLOSS59-127
15 CarltonLOSS26-115
16 RichmondLOSS93-121
17 St. KildaLOSS89-141
18 GeelongLOSS95-101
19 North MelbourneLOSS61-174
20 EssendonWIN136-130
21 South MelbourneWIN106-85
22 Collingwood LOSS125-156


North Melbourne1606120.964
St. Kilda1111093.146
South Melbourne9013100.336

Playing List

1 Garry Baker 22 12
2 Robert Flower 2218
3 Barry Tippett 61
4 Tony Sullivan 110
5 Graham Hunnibell 41
6 Ross Brewer 1321
7 Barry Denny 133
8 Peter Johnston 1931
9 Laurie Fowler 151
10 Craig McKellar 20
10 Ken Roberts 1116
11 Greg Wells 2017
12 Barry Norsworthy 1312
13 Henry Coles 2133
14 Michael Byrne 84
15 Phil Seaton 93
16 Robert Walters 35
17 Shane Grambeau 170
18 Maurice Wingate 133
19 Ray Biffin 1225
20 Graham Gaunt 120
22 Ken Whitfort 33
23 Shane Fitzsimmons 174
24 Kelvin Richards 30
26 Mark McKeon 60
27 Des O'Dwyer 11
27 Colin Graham 53
28 Anthony Dullard 196
29 Andrew Moir 1813
30 Peter Hamilton 91
31 Peter Garratt 10
33 Tony May 21
34 Tom Flower 99
35 Steven Smith 2217
36 Gary Cooke 73
40 Peter Thorne 89
41 Chris Woodman 84
43 Greg Hutchison 216
44 David Code 61
47 Paul Thompson 60
49 Mick Rea 31

Best and Fairest

Player Votes
1st Garry Baker 126
2nd Greg Wells 96
3rd Robbie Flower 89
4th Henry Coles 87
5th Tony Dullard 66
6th Shane Fitzsimmons 42
7th Laurie Fowler 38
8th Steven Smith 36
9th Shane Grambeau 27
10th Graham Gaunt 23
11th Peter Johnston 22
12th Tom Flower 21
13th Maurice Wingate 15
14th Tony Sullivan 12
14th Peter Thorne 12
16th Peter Hamilton 11
17th Barry Norsworthy 10
18th Michael Byrne 8
18th Ken Roberts 8
20th Greg Hutchison 7
21st Ross Brewer 6
21st Phil Seaton 6
23rd Barry Denny 5
24th Ray Biffin 4
24th David Code 4
26th Barry Tippett 3
27th Andrew Moir 2
28th Gary Cooke 1
28th Mark McKeon 1
28th Chris Woodman 1

Other Awards
Redlegs Trophy - Tom Flower


Round 4 Reserves Mark Alves Striking Unknown
Round 5 Reserves Peter Hamilton StrikingUnknown
Round 6 Ray Biffin Striking Not Guilty
Round 11 Henry Coles Abusive Language 1 match
Round 14 Ken Roberts Striking Not Guilty
Round 14 Ken Roberts Striking 2 matches
Round 15 Paul Thompson Striking Not Guilty
Round 18 Reserves Barry Tippett Striking Unknown


1978 Reserves Season
Best and Fairest - Chris Woodman
Second Best and Fairest - Robert Walters
Special Awards - David Code, Mick Rea, Michael Giulieri

Under 19s

Best and Fairest - Phillip Mehrten
Second Best and Fairest - Jeff Chapman
Special Awards - Stephen Bickford, Peter Maynard, Geoff Hayes

Season Records

Age - 28/06/1978
Age - 18/07/1978
Age - 20/07/1978
Age - 15/08/1978
Age - 13/09/1978
Age - 14/09/1978
Age - 29/11/1978
Age - 13/12/1978
Inside Football - 08/03/1979

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Monday 02 September 2019 22:46:09 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 40)

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