Demons coach Simon Goodwin hopes his team can “reset” after last week’s disappointing incident.
The AFL announced on Thursday that it would investigate further into the clash between Steven May and Jake Melkosham at a Prahran restaurant on Sunday.
May was banned from a club-imposed match for drinking while in the AFL’s Connection Protocol, while Melkasham has since undergone surgery to clear his hand of the infection that resulted from the altercation.
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Speaking publicly for the first time this week after club captain Max Gown and football manager Alan Richardson addressed the incident, Goodwin apologized for the scandal, but presented a united front.
Goodwin said: “Of course the week was disappointing. I think Max put it so well that it was embarrassing for everyone involved at our football club.”
“We’ve worked really hard to create what we’ve created internally, and obviously what we’ve shown on the field externally.”
The recent premiership coach said he hoped the club could learn from the dispute and work as a group before Collingwood’s clash with Queens on Monday as it looked down at three consecutive loss barrels.
“But as I told the players, culture is never perfect and these things always come up and what you do about them, how you react to them, how you learn from them, how you get better and that’s what we’re playing.” We worked internally as a group, “said Goodwin.
“It’s a great opportunity to internally re-establish ourselves as a playing group about what we really want to stand for and what we want to continue to stand for, and use it as a lesson to make it better. Culture never ends, it never ends.” No, it’s always running and you have to remind yourself of what’s important to nurture it.
“It’s a matter of culture, there’s going to be mistakes and people will have behaviors that you don’t want to tolerate and you have to solve them.
“But in hindsight, that doesn’t mean our playing team doesn’t love and care for each other. I have four brothers and I have had fights with all of them, it doesn’t mean I don’t love and care for them.
“We do not tolerate violence at all, but it will not define our playing group. They are united, committed to the cause, they know they have done wrong and we will learn from it. Get better and move on.”
“Hopefully, over time, people will see that this is a truly galvanizing time for us to come together and move forward on the path to what we want to achieve.”
Goodwin also revealed that Melkasham felt a “pretty bad infection” in his arm that required a second surgery to resolve, but confirmed that no bones had been broken.
“It’s been washed out twice. So he’s definitely going to be unavailable for the election this week. It’s a serious infection that we have to rise above,” he said.
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