Max Gawn and Nathan Jones celebrate their win. Pic: AAP
Max Gawn and Nathan Jones celebrate their win. Pic: AAP

Dees to make most of finals chance

MELBOURNE president Glenn Bartlett has urged Melbourne's fans to bask in the club's triumphant finals moment, believing "anything is possible" for a club built to play finals footy.

Melbourne could potentially jump into the top four with a win against GWS on Sunday in the final round of the regular season, with the players to wear a jumper celebrating Melbourne's 160th season on Member Appreciation Day.

The Demons will play finals for the first time since 2006, with their coach in their last finals performance inspirational football figure Neale Daniher.

His daughter Rebecca said Daniher, battling motor neurone disease, had been watching on Sunday and would hope to get to that first final in 12 years.

"It is very exciting. He will definitely hope to get there. We are all super excited about the boys getting up and they are playing really exciting footy. He wouldn't have missed it," she said.

Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn with Neale Daniher. Pic: Michael Klein
Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn with Neale Daniher. Pic: Michael Klein

Bartlett said the lead-in to the final was a time to celebrate the club's achievement, with figures like Jim Stynes, Peter Jackson and Don McLardy instrumental in setting up the club's rebirth.

The Demons president is adamant the players will focus only on the clash against GWS next week but says they need to set their sights high this finals series.

"It was a great day for the club, I am so happy for everyone at the club who stayed the course. I reckon we will really embrace it now," he said.

"We know anything is possible. It's all about the Giants first on Sunday and member appreciation day. You can't forget it's a ruthless competition, so it really is about this week, but if we have a good win on Sunday we could be fourth or fifth and then you draw a line in the sand and look at the finals.

"One thing I know is we have been building a game plan to stack up in finals, and around contested footy, so that's exciting."

Bartlett said despite criticism of the mental strength of the playing group they had proved they could execute under the fiercest pressure.

"I have got no doubt about the strength and resilience of the group, the character of the players and coaches. Internally it's water off a duck's back,'' he said.

"There was a lot of pressure yesterday, so for the guys to stand up the way they did and when they were challenged in the last quarter, so stand firm and finish the way they did, I am so proud of everyone involved.

"It is so good for our players' confidence. As Goody (Simon Goodwin) says, the facts are the facts.

Demons get to Mitch Hannan after a big goal against West Coast. Pic: AAP
Demons get to Mitch Hannan after a big goal against West Coast. Pic: AAP

"When we played Adelaide they were an in-form side and we played North Melbourne having not beat them 17 times before, so we have ticked all these things off."

He said figures like former presidents Stynes and McLardy should take credit for helping the club in times of need.

"Whether it's Jimmy or Don McLardy, everyone who has been involved at the club and volunteered their time, they should enjoy this.

"We are one club and they are all part of. It's one of those moments where we are not done, it's now an opportunity to really drive forward."

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