Former Melbourne strategic coach Craig Jennings gave some insight into the ‘steadfast’ attitude of Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin, which secured the club their first top job.
Goodwin and his players delivered Dees fans their first flag in 57 years, when they crushed the Bulldogs by 74 points in September.
The team reached a preliminary final in 2018 in Goodwin’s second season, but struggled the following two years.
Their spectacular return to form in 2021 came as a surprise to many, and Jennings believes the influence of the old Crow – which began years ago – has had a big impact.
“At the beginning, how important was that for the Grand Final?” Jennings said the Whateley from SEN.
“Goody’s (Goodwin) vision… He was absolutely unwavering from the start on what it was like to win a prime ministerial post.
“I remember back in early 2019, when things weren’t going well and he was basically saying, ‘Adversity is going to win us a job as prime minister,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve had enough ‘adversity, I just want to start winning’.
“But he just never hesitated, and he explains it like guiding a ship through rough waters, you go to work every day and you keep guiding the ship in the direction you need it, you don’t know. not what you’re going to face day to day.
Premiership coach Mark Williams, who joined the club as an assistant for 2021, is often described as the man who has driven the club’s high training standards throughout the year.
High performance manager Darren Burgess left the club after the season but is also known to have made a huge impact.
However, Jennings believes that Goodwin has taken training standards to the “next level” since his appointment and ultimately played an important role in winning the Grand Final.
“He complements that with training standards… Goody just took it to the next level, it was training and education,” Jennings said.
“The things you do to prepare for practice, the things you do on the track, but then to educate the game plan off the field.
“I was just watching (the Grand Final) thinking this team thinks they are the fittest team and ultimately they beat the Bulldogs.”
The Grand Final victory made Goodwin Melbourne the first Premiership coach since Norm Smith in 1964.