In the AFL spotlight after a run of five increasingly spectacular wins, Melbourne are bringing a touch of Hollywood to their preparations for Saturday’s clash against the slumping Western Bulldogs.
The Demons have adopted the word “fugazi” from the movie blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street, with coach Simon Goodwin even impersonating actor Matthew McConaghey delivering the line at the end of Friday’s press conference.
Fugazi means noise and that’s something that the Demons are trying to shut out as the hype builds around their early-season success.
“Obviously there is a lot of noise out there and I think it is great for our supporters what they are starting to see but internally it’s fugazi, which means it’s noise,” Goodwin said.
“What we’re focused in on is our our preparation and really respecting that.”
The Demons are sitting third on the AFL ladder after banking seven wins and Goodwin said the expectation of success was something the players were learning to deal with.
“Expectation is going to come, and we welcome that,” he said.
“It’s then how you deal with it and it’s how you actually focus on what’s really important to you as a footy club.”
With the competition not even at the halfway point Goodwin said it was premature to talk about what would be a first finals campaign since 2006.
While the Demons head into Saturday’s clash at Etihad Stadium on the back of five straight wins, the under-performing Bulldogs sit 14th after two heavy losses to Adelaide and Collingwood.
Goodwin said Melbourne’s consistency could be attributed to healthy bodies as much as form, with the line-up unchanged from their big win over Adelaide.
“It’s something we haven’t had for a number of years through both form and fitness,” Goodwin said.
“That cohesion is something that’s really important in understanding your role in teams and understanding what players are capable of and just playing together for a period of time.”
The Bulldogs are hoping to get a lift from the return of veteran Dale Morris in his first senior game of the year after a pre-season knee injury.
“Our inconsistency around the real combative side of the game has left us a little bit vulnerable in different games, so he’ll definitely pep up the boys in that regard,” said coach Luke Beveridge.
“It’s just important that everyone not only feeds off it, but brings their own form of attack on the footy and opposition.”