Watch out AFL rivals, Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney believes the reigning premiers have rediscovered their “ruthless edge”.
The Demons will enter their qualifying final coming off their most complete performance of the year when they dismantled the Brisbane Lions in the final game of the home-and-away season.
Melbourne suffered a mid-season form slump when they lost three-straight games, including a 12-point defeat to Sydney – their opponents at the MCG on Friday night.
But the Demons have started to put together performances similar to the end of last season, when they famously charged towards a drought-breaking premiership.
“I can only go off our last performance, but I thought we brought that kind of physical and ruthless edge to our game (against the Lions),” Viney told reporters on Tuesday.
“We did that for a month leading up to finals.
“You don’t need to find too much more motivation, or to dig too deep to find that ruthless edge in finals, so at our best we play that way and finals is going to bring the best out of us.”
Melbourne’s first grand final win in 57 years came away from the MCG, with COVID-19 lockdowns meaning all of last year’s finals were held outside of Victoria.
The Demons won their qualifying final in Adelaide, before securing triumphant wins over Geelong and the Western Bulldogs in Perth.
Viney was starved of success for the early part of his career, but is going to relish the opportunity to play in front of diehard Demons fans during this year’s finals series.
“We did some pretty special things last year, but we weren’t able to do it in front of all of our fans and we weren’t able to do it in front of our families,” he said.
“This is my 10th year of AFL and my family have only been to watch me play in one (finals) series.”
Premiership forward Tom McDonald is pushing to return to the Demons line-up after being sidelined with a foot injury since round 10.
McDonald made a successful return via the VFL last weekend and the coaching staff are weighing up if one game in the reserves is enough to throw the 29-year-old in for a final.