Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney has revealed the secret behind his club’s success in season 2021.
Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney says an improved level of maturity among the playing group is the catalyst behind the Demons’ rise up the ladder in 2021.
The Demons currently sit second on the ladder after four consecutive victories to start the season, with the 4-0 start the club’s first since 1994.
It’s been a stunning turnaround for the Demons, who were widely tipped to miss the finals having finished the last two seasons in 17th and ninth position on the ladder.
After making a preliminary final in 2018, Melbourne has failed to flatter over the last two seasons, but Viney said the improved mentality had allowed the team to grind out wins in games they would have lost in years’ past.
“I think we’ve had a couple of pretty mature wins,” he told Wide World of Sports.
“It’s not like we’ve dominated for four quarters, we’ve been behind at times.
“In years gone by we might’ve let the lead get too far in front, or we let that phase us.
“What I mean by mature is, we hang in there and we get back to executing our game style and we’ve been able to do that and come back and win. They’ve been (hard) fought victories so far.”
The Demons’ 4-0 start has caused inevitable comparisons to the 2018 side that shocked the AFL by reaching the final four, and Viney admitted that the added experience from 2018 was helping the players this time around.
“It’s a more experienced group than the 2018 season, but we’re just taking each week as it comes at the moment,” he said.
While the signs currently are positive for the club, earlier in the year it was far from that.
Reports prior to round one surfaced that Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin would be shown the door at the end of the season if the club went a third consecutive year without finals football.
The Melbourne vice-captain admitted there would always be outside noise, but stressed the importance of the playing group embracing pressure.
“Personally and as a team, I think the only pressure and expectation is what we set for ourselves,” Viney said.
“Obviously there’s going to be talk outside in the media, among the public and with the fans, but it’s something we can’t control.
“So you just embrace it and you get to work and focus on the things you can control and set expectations around those behaviours.
“That’s what we’ve gone about doing and trying to change the behaviours and actions among the playing group, which will hopefully take us to the next level.”
AFL stars Jack Viney and Mitch Robinson recently went up against NRL stars Jarome Luai and Jordan Kahu to see which code and which state can claim the best Call of Duty player. Each player teamed up with a professional Call of Duty streamer to go head to head in a 2v2 Gunfight.
“It was good fun,” Viney said of his gaming experience with Call of Duty.
“Any form of competition, whether it be on the field or online, I’m always down. I’m down for some competition.
“This time it was the AFL boys taking on the NRL boys in Call of Duty – I was terrible but Mitch is a freak.
“He carried the AFL boys. He certainly did better than I did.”