Demons coach calls for Gawn protection

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin wants umpires to do more to protect Max Gawn (right).
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin wants umpires to do more to protect Max Gawn (right).

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is again appealing for greater protection for his captain and star ruckman Max Gawn.

Gawn's fitness will be closely monitored after copping another battering in the Demons' 51-point demolition of Adelaide on Wednesday night.

The Melbourne ace was repeatedly crashed into behind play by Crows players, with Goodwin saying it's a common opposition tactic.

"He gets a lot of attention, Max," Goodwin said after Melbourne's 13.10 (88) to 5.7 (37) triumph at Adelaide Oval.

"And we continually speak to the various powers to be about the attention he gets.

"He gets clearly targeted around just getting to a stoppage and hopefully we will start to get some protection at some stage.

"It happens every week, he's a target for most teams.

" ... But at some stage hopefuly that will come to an end and we can get on with playing some footy and protect some of our important players in the league that showcase our game.

"It's really important they get the chance to do that."

Gawn had scans before fronting against the Crows, but he and the Demons haven't revealed specifically where he's hurting.

"He was sore," Goodwin said.

"He is carrying a few little niggles - unbelievable leadership to get himself going and up for this game."

Gawn and his teammates will now remain Adelaide, where they will play North Melbourne on Sunday.

The short gap between fixtures will be Melbourne's second four-day break between games in the past fortnight.

After the initial four-day gap, the Demons were thrashed by Port Adelaide by 51 points last Thursday night.

"We didn't get the result we were looking for in the first game on a really short break but that doesn't mean we change our plans and go different," Goodwin said.

"We will look at our squad, make sure it's healthy and got all its energy back."

Australian Associated Press