Demons ditch caution for ambition
Just as he played football with a dashing abandon, Melbourne CEO Gary Pert sets no limits when predicting on-field success.
In a previous life when CEO of Collingwood in the pre-season of 2014, Pert was extremely bullish about the Pies in declaring: "I would suggest not only playing finals for the next three years, but I would expect us to be top four and winning a premiership during that time".
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Those words came back to bite him when Collingwood finished 11th (2014) and 12th in 2015-2016.
But Pert clearly hasn't been scarred and was up to his optimistic predictions at Melbourne's AGM on Monday night when declaring the Demons are premiership bound.
And not just in AFL ranks, but AFLW as well, as highlighted by a speech to the faithful that included "on-field our ambitions over the next four years is (are) to play in every AFL and AFLW final series each year for the next four years, winning at least one AFL premiership and one AFLW premiership in that time," Pert said.
Fighting words and delivered with admirable enthusiasm but also unusual in an AFL world where caution is often preferred over bravado.
Stan Alves, a Melbourne 200-game player and captain, North Melbourne premiership player and St Kilda Grand Final coach, knows a thing or two about the AFL landscape and believes Pert's comments were ideally timed.
"I truly believe Melbourne is beyond being cautious," Alves said.
"They have to challenge themselves rather than sit back and believe this is their lot.
"Someone had to rattle the cage and I feel really comfortable with Gary Pert and his sentiments.
"He has put everyone on notice that the club's performances have been totally unacceptable.
"Melbourne's golden years are now well over 50 seasons ago which is a lifetime for some."