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Goodwin not feeling AFL coaching heat

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin claims he is not feeling the heat as the Demons enter the 2021 season following two consecutive years of missing the AFL finals.

Goodwin is one of a number of coaches, including Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley, who are likely coaching for their jobs this season.

Things have gone downhill for Melbourne since their run to the 2018 preliminary final, which ended a 12-year post-season drought.

Goodwin, who is contracted until the end of the 2022 season, believes the Demons’ added maturity will push the team back up the ladder.

“I think that’s part of our industry. There’s expectation everywhere,” Goodwin said when asked about his position at Melbourne.

“I actually enjoy that. It’s not something I take a lot of notice of, but I just aim to be the best coach I can be.

“I have enormous belief in our playing group, our club, where we’re tracking and the foundations that have been laid.

“The players have been brilliant in the standards and discipline and once you start to build maturity you start to get consistency.”

Melbourne will open their season at the MCG on Saturday against Fremantle without star recruit Ben Brown (knee).

Joining the former North Melbourne forward on the sidelines is fellow key goal-kicker Sam Weideman (leg).

The pair will miss the early part of the season but will still hold off on unleashing former Kangaroos tall Majak Daw against the Dockers.

After missing the Demons’ practice match loss against the Western Bulldogs, star midfielder Clayton Oliver and defender Christian Salem will return.

Exciting young forward Kysaiah Pickett is set to be picked after being on personal leave for three weeks.

“(Pickett’s) done more (training) than what people think,” Goodwin said.

“He was doing F45 every morning in Adelaide, was training with a SANFL club. He’s just been outstanding in the way he’s gone about his preparation.”

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