Goodwin to miss Hawks clash as Demons brace for COVID disruption

Three Melbourne players will join premiership coach Simon Goodwin in being unavailable for the Demons’ round-seven match due to COVID-19.

Key points:

  • Adem Yze will fill in for Goodwin for the Demons’ match against the Hawks
  • Luke Jackson is believed to be among the players in isolation
  • The Demons are undefeated this season

Goodwin tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday and will be replaced by senior assistant Adem Yze for this Saturday’s clash with Hawthorn.

The Demons are hoping the COVID-19 outbreak has been limited to Goodwin and a handful of players.

Ruckman Luke Jackson and small forward Toby Bedford, who has been an unused medical sub in recent weeks, are believed to be among the players in isolation.

Undefeated Melbourne will name its team on Thursday for the match against the Hawks at the MCG.

Yze spent six years as an assistant at Hawthorn under Alastair Clarkson, before switching to Melbourne before the 2021 season.

He played 271 matches for the Demons.

Yze said Goodwin was “in good spirits” as the club looked to cover for his absence.

“We’ve had a couple of discussions already this morning to make sure that the program stays the same,” Yze said.

“It won’t be just myself, obviously everyone’s got to step up with our senior coach out of our program.

“We’ll have different staff members doing different roles and I’ll just be the face of it for this week, so I feel comfortable in doing it.

“It’s not any more significant than we just need to get out there and play well and win a game of footy.

“It’s just ironic it’s against the Hawks.

“We’ve got a plan in place and that will evolve over the next couple of days.

“I’ll coach from the box on game day, but then leading into the game I’ll still be a midfield coach.”

Stand-in coaches have an unbeaten 5-0 record this season.

Fremantle’s Jaymie Graham (twice), Carlton’s Ash Hansen, Essendon’s Blake Caracella and St Kilda’s Brendon Lade all led their teams to victories when their head coaches were forced into isolation.

Yze will be the third coach to fill in against a former club in 2022, with Graham leading the Dockers to victory over West Coast and Hansen’s Blues edging the Western Bulldogs.

Demons premiership stars Jake Lever and Jack Viney will return against the Hawks after sitting out the win over Richmond last Sunday night due to COVID-19.

Veteran defender Michael Hibberd has struggled with a calf issue all season but will make his comeback through the VFL this weekend.

The Demons are 6-0 and have put together a 13-match winning streak dating back to round 20 last year.




Author: Ivan Robinson