David King would like to see Melbourne push Christian Salem further up the ground.
Salem has played 106 games for the Dees since being taken at pick nine in the 2013 National Draft, mostly across half back.
King believes the skilful ball user could help solve Melbourne’s woes going forward, given they’re one of the least efficient sides in the competition kicking inside 50.
“It’s a great call to get more out of him. How do you maximise your best talents? Where do you place them?” King told SEN Breakfast.
“How do you get the ball in his hands as often as possible? I think you want your best kicks kicking the ball inside 50 and that’s been Melbourne’s problem, capitalising on inside 50 opportunities.
“I think he has to be challenged to go to a wing or even half forward.
“He may not get as many disposals, but as Justin Leppitsch said yesterday, there’s only 360 disposals per team per game.
“So if Salem gets 30 at half back and they go into the fat part of the ground or the wings, do you really get a lot out of those disposals or would you rather him have it 15 times and hit five targets inside 50.
“I have no doubt Simon Goodwin would be thinking ‘how do I get the most out of this guy’.
“He’s a senior player now. The days of him being a nice to have skilful half back … and I do think that’s a good spot to bring in some fresh talent at half back. To see the game and use your skills, you can be a light body and a bit smaller Caleb Daniel style.
“We’re going to learn a lot about Melbourne and Simon Goodwin. It’s a big year for the Dees.”
The Demons will have a new-look forward line in 2021, trading for North Melbourne key forward Ben Brown.
Melbourne will overtake Sydney as the nation’s biggest capital by 2026 despite grappling with a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks forcing the state back into lockdown but national population growth will take years to recover.
The Victorian capital is still on track to take the crown from the harbour city by 2026-27, a Centre for Population report released on Friday shows, with 6.2 million people to call Melbourne home compared to a forecast 6 million residents in Sydney.
The massive shock to international migration caused by the coronavirus pandemic will, however, drag on the long-term prospects for the national population, with 1.1 million fewer people expected to call Australia home by June 2031 than if the virus had not happened. Typically new migrants move to the country’s biggest capital cities, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane taking in 71 per cent of overseas arrivals in the 2018 financial year.
Both Sydney and Melbourne’s populations will be the worst affected by the pandemic, which will shave 390,000 and 340,000 people respectively from pre-COVID expected levels by 2031. In 2020-21, Sydney’s population declines 0.2 per cent followed by no change in the year after, while Melbourne will experience modest growth.
Victory now face another South Korean club in Ulsan in Sunday night’s round-of-16 match.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to get out of the group stages … it was a tough ask, I am super proud of the players, super proud of the staff,” Brebner, who was appointed coach in August, said after the match.
“It’s massive for the club, for everybody connected with the club.
“It’s something we have always wanted to do, strive to achieve something in Asia.
“We have been together 10 days, played four games in 10 days, and every game we have come up looking better.
“They [the players] are able, willing, they want to learn and get better.”
An early goal to Marco Rojas settled Victory nerves by putting them ahead of Seoul, and when Jake Brimmer doubled the lead from a 22nd-minute penalty they had the breathing space they needed.
Hwang Hyun-soo pulled a goal back with 25 minutes to go but Victory did enough to ensure they took the points.
“We had to fight really hard,” said Rojas.
“It was a really difficult game but because of our fantastic start we had the two-goal advantage and we were able to hold on.”
Japan’s FC Tokyo beat Perth Glory 1-0 to finish runners-up in group F ahead of Shanghai Shenhua and set up a last-16 clash against Beijing Guoan.
The games will take place on Sunday as teams from the east of Asia continue to play out the coronavirus-delayed continental championship in a biosecure environment in Qatar.
At stake is a spot in the final on December 19, when the leading team from east Asia will take on west Asian qualifiers Persepolis from Iran in Doha’s Al Janoub Stadium.
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing
Despite zero cases and the city’s tough lockdown being over, freedom protesters are set to hit Melbourne’s streets again this weekend with a new goal.
Despite the city’s tough lockdown being over and coronavirus restrictions largely reduced, anti-lockdown and freedom protesters are set to descend on Melbourne’s streets again on Saturday.
The protest again falls on the eve of another easing of restrictions across Victoria, with Premier Daniel Andrews expected to announce more rule changes on Sunday to “lock in” a COVID-safe summer.
Protest organisers are pushing for Victoria’s state of emergency to be lifted and to “prosecute Dan Andrews”.
The freedom rally is set to take place in Fawkner Park at 2pm.
Victoria Police said officers were preparing to respond to protest activity in Fawkner Park on Saturday.
“Everyone has a right to protest peacefully, as long as it is in accordance with the chief health officer directions and does not impact the rest of the community, who also have the right to go about their daily business,” the force said in a statement.
“Anyone coming into the area looking to disrupt others, create conflict and incite violence can expect a very firm response from police.”
A police spokeswoman said there would be a highly visible police presence in the surrounding areas to ensure a safe environment for the whole community.
Recent anti-lockdown and freedom protests in Melbourne have been marred by outbreaks of violence, hundreds of arrests and a controversial police tactic called “kettling”.
It comes as human rights advocates push for protesting to be specifically mentioned in the chief health officer’s directives.
Despite activities such as boot camps, indoor gyms, personal training, beauty salons and organised sport being specifically mentioned with very clear guidelines in the restrictions posted to the Department of Health and Human Services website, protesting has so far been omitted throughout the pandemic.
Human rights advocate Anthony Kelly, of Melbourne Activist Legal Support and the Police Accountability Project, said that was despite the right for peaceful public assembly being enshrined in Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights.
“The irony is that in Victoria we have a charter, which specifically protects political communication, political association, public and peaceful assembly and the right for political expression, and yet boot camps aren’t mentioned in Victorian legislation,” he told NCA NewsWire.
“Those directives have been totally silent when it comes to public protest events, and that’s been one of the problems, there’s been no clarity or guidelines.
“It’s quite indicative of how governments across the board feel about protests.”
When asked about the guidelines for protests ahead of Saturday’s event, a DHHS spokeswoman said the directions prevented “a person from arranging to meet, organise or intentionally attend a public gathering in a public place with more than 49 other persons”.
She said if an event was expected to exceed that limit, it would need to meet requirements under the public events framework.
“The chief health officer or deputy health officer may exempt certain types of public events from any requirement imposed by the directions, including the number of people who can gather in public; however, they must meet requirements such as having a COVID-safe event plan and event checklists,” she said.
The spokeswoman later clarified that organised protests or peaceful assemblies were categorised as either public gatherings or events under the directions.
Comment has been sought from Health Minister Martin Foley as to why protest events are not specifically mentioned in the coronavirus directives.
The AFL is now aiming to release a section of their fixture for the men’s 2021 competition before Christmas as the MCG becomes increasingly hopeful of lifting crowds from 30,000 spectators on Boxing Day to more than 50,000 people by the time the AFL season starts on March 18.
Both the AFL and the MCG are attempting to make haste slowly as Victoria emerges cautiously from the COVID-19 lockdown that saw the game relocate outside the state and the MCG virtually vacant since Melbourne played Richmond on July 5.
Hopefully by then we’re talking 75 per cent or who knows even a 100 per cent return of crowds.
However a league source confirmed the AFL was planning an initial release of matches pre-Christmas before expanding on the schedule in February in order to maintain flexibility in an environment that remains unpredictable.
The league has confirmed the season will begin with the traditional Richmond v Carlton clash on Thursday, March 18, and remain keen on exploring the idea of a footy frenzy with games each day over 20 consecutive days.
Australian soldiers are accusing their hierarchy of not properly looking after their mental health during and after their deployment to Melbourne to help with the state’s COVID-19 response.
Soldier says rules confining Defence Force personnel to hotel rooms has negatively affected their mental health
He says Defence members were not given post deployment mental health screening
Defence says mental health support was provided and a survey is being carried out to determine follow up needs
A soldier has told the ABC he and colleagues were virtually confined to Melbourne hotel rooms for months, in between carrying out duties including accompanying ambulance crews to car crashes.
He said many have been deeply affected by the confinement.
The soldier was among hundreds deployed to Melbourne between June and October from bases in Townsville, Darwin, Adelaide and Brisbane.
He said during deployments of up to three months they were only allowed to leave their hotel rooms while carrying out duties including home quarantine checks.
The ABC is not identifying the soldier because he is not allowed to speak to the media without approval.
The soldier said he and colleagues went weeks without rest days, lost weight, and many couldn’t pass physical fitness tests when they returned to barracks.
He said while off duty their only option for exercise, for the first month, was in the hotel’s underground car park, in a few spaces each.
Later, they were allowed an hour of exercise in a small park, but often the allotted exercise times clashed with times on duty.
“There was a sense we couldn’t hack it,” he said.
“A lot of fellas were having a hell of a hard time. We were in borderline isolation all that time.”
The soldier said being supplied “second rate, minimal” food, including peas and rice for breakfast, and not being able to leave the hotels to buy alternative food, was morale-sapping.
He said the experience was worse than an overseas deployment, particularly for soldiers backing up ambulance crews.
“Then they were locked in their rooms for weeks on end.
“And now we’ve come back we didn’t do the Post Operational Psychological Screening.”
The moderator of an online veterans’ mental health forum told the ABC multiple soldiers have reported the same experience.
He doesn’t want to be identified because he receives information from serving personnel.
Department of Defence says soldiers were looked after
Asked to respond, the Defence Department provided a statement saying the personnel had access to mental health support including for critical incidents during the deployment.
“As with all Victorians during the lockdown … ADF members … were required to adhere to directives concerning exercise periods,” the Department said.
“A welfare system was established that included regular welfare checks and a buddy system.”
It said the soldiers would get mental health screening, and the Department would conduct an anonymous survey to determine “what they found stressful and how they coped”.
“A Post Operational Psychological Screening is conducted between three and six months following deployment … [or] earlier if a member requests it,” the Department said.
“Defence has designed a deployment experiences survey … to identify risks associated with Operation COVID Assist, which can then inform … longer-term, follow-up care responses.”
The soldier who spoke to the ABC said Defence Force members are reluctant to admit they need mental health support because they fear it will affect their careers.
Veteran community members have to look out for each other
The President of the independent Defence Welfare Association, Kel Ryan, said that was a common concern.
“It is a common factor in military life that individuals tend not to report injuries or particular mental health issues that they perceive would be detrimental to their future promotion, to their future positions,” he said.
“So what we have to do is to ensure there is a system by which individuals are not disadvantaged because they report these issues.”
He said everyone in the Defence Force and veteran community should look carefully for signs of mental stress in friends and colleagues, and offer help.
“It is common that individuals try to hide these things, and it really behoves their mates, to really notice changes in the individual’s mental state,” he said.
The defence force veterans’ charity Mates4Mates has expanded its independent telehealth services during the pandemic and is about to open a Darwin centre.
Its CEO, Troy Watson, said it had recently experienced a surge in demand.
“Compared to this time last year, we are seeing about a 30 per cent increase in access to our services since that time,” he said.
“Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on individuals and the family unit, and people being dislocated from others, and being unable to access services, have had a significant impact this year.”
Melbourne Stars host
at Manuka Oval on Friday December 11, 2020. Melbourne Stars are favourites for the game which is scheduled to start at 7:16 pm. We preview the game and give you our tips and information on how you can watch the Melbourne Stars vs.
When: Friday December 11, 2020 at 7:16 pm
Where: Manuka Oval
Bet: Bet On This Match HERE
Melbourne Stars vs Brisbane Heat Odds
Melbourne Stars vs Brisbane Heat Preview
Melbourne Stars kick off their 2020/21 campaign against the Brisbane Heat at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
The Stars fell short in the BBL Final last season and will be out to make amends this season.
They head into this game as favourites and they’re hard to back against given their form in past seasons.