Melbourne are confident star defender Steven May will be available for the grand final despite being subbed out of the preliminary final win over Geelong at Optus Stadium with a hamstring injury.
It will be Melbourne’s first grand final since 2000 and they are chasing their first premiership since 1964. The Demons smashed the Cats 19.11 (125) to 6.6 (42) as captain Max Gawn produced a starring game with five goals.
But May’s injury is a major concern. He left the field during the first term, returned in the second quarter with his right leg heavily taped and was then subbed off nearing three quarter time.
Coach Simon Goodwin said the early signs were positive given the week’s break before the grand final.
“Steve’s just got a bit of a tight hamstring,” he said.
“Clearly he came back on the ground for a period of time. We think it might be back related. He could still move.
“We’ll assess that over the next few days. We are quietly confident he will be OK but it is back related tightness in the hamstring.”
Goodwin paid tribute to Gawn’s performance as he tore the Cats apart.
The All-Australian ruckman kicked four goals during the third quarter and produced a combination of athleticism, speed, marking and skill.
“It typified tonight why he’s the skipper of the footy team,” Goodwin said.
“He played his heart out. It wasn’t just his impact on the scoreboard. I thought his ruckwork was strong but the thing that stood out for me was the chase down tackle of Gary Rohan in the third quarter.
“That’s the way we want to be seen as a footy club – a team that never gives up and continues to play the right way for as long in the game as possible. He was incredible.”
Former Melbourne captain Nathan Jones looms as one of the stories of the grand final as he battles a decision of whether to remain in Perth and push for a fairytale recall to the team or fly home to be with his wife as she prepares to give birth.
Jones was the only one of Melbourne’s four emergencies not to train on Optus Stadium after the match, but Goodwin said that wasn’t a sign he had made a decision.
The Demons will be given time off now that they are out of quarantine and Goodwin said it was obvious the club had plenty of support in Perth.
“It’s been evident all week,” he said.
“The Perth people have got right in behind the Demons. We want that to continue. We’ve got three lads that are Perth lads that bring a lot of excitement to the group. The support from the Perth people was amazing.”
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