Coach: Neale Daniher
Captain: Todd Viney
Finishing Position: 4th
Best and Fairest: Todd Viney
Leading Goalkicker: Jeff Farmer (47 goals)
Best First Year Player : Guy Rigoni
Major Sponsor: LG Electronics
|Matches||Ladder||Playing List||Best and Fairest||Reserves|
With new coach Neale Daniher at the helm and the prized signing of former #1 draft pick Jeff White, Melbourne fans entered 1998 optimistic of better days ahead after their crushing wooden spoon campaign of 1997.
Daniher had beaten caretaker Greg Hutchison narrowly with Peter Schwab and Damian Drum the other unsuccessful shortlisted candidates. He was chosen by a committee consisting of Joseph Gutnick, Greg Healy, Cameron Schwab and vice-president Bill Guest.
Daniher's first move was to send his players to school in the pre-season. Having them attend Caulfield Grammar for four weeks from 6.45am to 4pm each day with the time split between theory and training.
In other changes Todd Viney was elevated to captain, and Jamie Shanahan joined from St. Kilda through the Pre-Season draft and South Korean firm LG Electronics became major sponsor in a deal worth $2.5 million.
West Coast superstar Peter Matera reportedly agreed to join the Demons but changed his mind and stayed in Perth.
Garry Lyon stepped down as captain after seven years to concentrate on his comeback. Todd Viney was appointed to the job with Glenn Lovett and David Neitz as his deputies. Essendon great Simon Madden joined as a ruck coach.
Improved pre-season form gave an indication that better was to come in '98, but nobody could have forseen just how far the Demons would go. They started the season as 150/1 premiership rank outsiders in some betting markets.
A gritty win against a hard finishing North Melbourne in round 2 set the tone for a five match winning streak that firmly entrenched them in the top eight.
Two heavy defeats against Geelong and St. Kilda in the middle of the season threatened to derail the good start, but a shock win against the Eagles at Subiaco righted the ship and a big last round win against Richmond lifted them above Adelaide into fourth place and ensured that the first final against the Crows would be played at the MCG.
Comfortable victories against the Crows and St. Kilda paved the way for the Demons to face North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final where they put up a brave effort before losing by 5 goals.
During the year the club sent ten if it's emerging leaders to the Victoria Police college for a leadership program. David Neitz, Shane Woewodin, Andrew Leoncelli, David Schwarz, Anthony McDonald, Adem Yze, Brent Grgic, Leigh Newton, Guy Rigoni and Jeff White were the players selected.
The football club made a profit of $54,677. They were forced to pay back taxes for missing previous fringe benefits tax payments.
The events of season 1998 are detailed in the video Hotter Than Hell, filmed in the house of captain Todd Viney.
Ansett Australia Cup
Home and Away
Best and Fairest
Best Team Player - Shane Woewodin
Most Improved - Adem Yze
Best Clubman - Andrew Leoncelli
Most Consistent - Todd Viney
Most Dedicated & Inspirational - Stephen Tingay
Best Player in Finals - Jeff Farmer
Jim Cardwell Award for services to Marketing & Administration - Garry Lyon
Trainers' Award - Darren Kowal
|Ansett Cup QF||David Schwarz||Striking||1 match|
|Round 3||Brent Grgic||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 4||Marcus Seecamp||Striking||3 matches|
|Round 9||Adem Yze||Wrestling||$1000 fine|
|Round 11||Jeff Farmer||Striking||3 matches|
|Round 12||Jamie Shanahan||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 16||Todd Viney||Striking||Not Guilty|
|Round 17||Marcus Seecamp||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 17||Garry Lyon||Attempted tripping||Not Guilty|
|Round 19||Stephen Tingay||Charging||Not Guilty|
Best and Fairest