Melbourne rejoice at grand AFL finale

Melbourne's coach Simon Goodwin and captain Max Gawn say their AFL premiership ends a generation of pain for their club.

Demons head coach SIMON GOODWIN
Demons head coach SIMON GOODWIN Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

In one brief sentence, Melbourne's premiership captain Max Gawn summed up a generation of his AFL club.

"After 57 years of pain, it's coming home."

"It" is the premiership cup. The years of pain were the Demons' period between premierships.

Gawn's joyous comment on the grand final dais encapsulated the overflowing emotions of the long-suffering Demons.

Melbourne's 74-point victory over the Western Bulldogs was remarkable.

The Demons were on the proverbial ropes when 19 points down in the 13th minute of the third quarter.

"We were in trouble," Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin told reporters.

"But we have been in that position before throughout the year where we have been down in games."

In a stunning last 45 minutes of the premiership decider, Melbourne scored 100 points to just seven from the Dogs.

"The boys' ability to re-set, their ability to understand what is required in the game, is really strong," Goodwin said.

"They (the Bulldogs) were playing some unbelievable footy, we have got enormous respect for them.

"We had to change a few things, we had to get a few things right and guys implemented it, but all year they have been able to re-set.

"And they proved it on the biggest stage under the most pressure and that is what I am really proud of because there's no question we were challenged by a really good side but we turned it around."

Goodwin won flags in his 10th and 25th AFL games for Adelaide in 1997 and 1998.

Now, he's a premiership coach after starting the season with his tenure in question after missing the finals in consecutive years.

"It's just incredible," Goodwin said.

"You get emotional talking to the players and talking to everyone, the heartache of our supporters over a long period of time.

"We have a special group of players, a special club and we have done it - 57 years has been a long time, I just hope all the people back in Melbourne, all the families that can't be here, you're enjoying it.

"I honestly can't wait to get home, we can't wait to see our family and friends and all the supporters back in Melbourne, obviously it has been a really tough time.

"They should be incredibly proud of their club. It's unbelievable."