Melbourne’s four-goal hero Jake Melksham spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: Congratulations on your win and also your performance.
A: Thank you. There is a lot of emotion down here at the moment. We were just talking off air either way, whatever way that went, it was massive for either team. For us to stick to tasks like we did at the end, we executed our win the game play. Kozzy kicks a great goal and we are standing here talking about how good it was. It was awesome.
Q: You talk about little things being enormous things. You are never quite sure what they are going to be Gee, there are a lot of little moments tonight – I mean Phil Davis was talking about your body craft there. Just the smothers, the touches, the tap-ones, the little hand balls, they add up.
A: Yes, they do. It is actually what we focus on at the club. We have a match review each week and we are presented with a videotape of our smothering tackling. It is called ‘Tackle and Tough’. It is the one-percenters we drive. That has been a massive difference for us the last 18 months, the little things we focused on. We see that tape Monday. He gives out Precision Footy which is one of his footies he patented. It’s great.
Q: It would be a pretty good tape to watch on Monday
A: Yes, it will be awesome. Back in defense was huge. They held up well for us all game. Mids great as usual and the forwards, we come good in the second half. I felt like in the first half we were too far away from the ball and they were cutting it off across halfback. We got that going in the second half and it went well.
Q: Angus talked about you felt like you were playing your game over the last few weeks, not getting reward. Can you tell us about what changed in the way in which you guys identified, “This is the style we want to play.”
A: I don’t think anything has changed in the style as much. Obviously we are going with a bit smaller forward line hence, myself being in. We have big Ben Brown down there and Max Gawn at times but it is our ability to just stick to task for the full 120 minutes. Like last week, we go down by a goal. Collingwood were just better for longer, they were cleaner, they
executed under pressure. That was a huge pressure cooker of a game last week and we just didn’t get it done. That’s what we focused on this week. It looked like with five minutes to go it was maybe heading that way again but like I said before, we execute our win-the-game play and we have a win.
Q: Take us through the win-the-game play.
A: Yes. So obviously when you are down as forwards we all just pulled back. You would have seen that on the screen. We just opened the forward line up. The mids will do their thing – I can’t say what the mids do. Some sort of attack work in there from Max and get it forward and in. We open the forward line up, put them under the pump, try and win your one-on-ones and scores. It is good.
Q: You said during the ad break, “Was it good to watch? Was it good to call? There is not many better games of football when there is so much on the line for both teams. With things going the way we expected to, you would have dropped out of the four for the first time since 2020 with a round to go and a trip to The Gabba.
A: Yes, footy is strange. Like you have got to be on every week. We managed to get it done at the end. We go to The Gabba next week, play a top-four team. They had a great win last night. We are looking forward to that. We travel really well. So we will go up there full of confidence and attack the game. Can’t wait.
Q: Just quickly on Carlton. They started 8-2. They are playing football finals until you give it to Kozzy and he kicks a goal. Kozzy kicks a point it is a draw and they play finals.
A: Yes. Crazy. It’s crazy. It just shows, like you have just got to stay in the game. And they did that really well as well. They were very brave. It was a toss of the coin tonight. We were lucky, Kozzy kicked a great goal. I hope they win and get in finals. I think they can do damage.
Q: To go back is really difficult. How hungry is the team and the club to be back there and to have that taste again, that victory?
A: Yes, they are super hungry. Like, I didn’t play (in the premiership) – this is everything to me. Like I’m at the end of my career. I don’t know what I will be doing in the next few months. Like, it means everything to me. There are heaps of players – like Jayden Hunt didn’t play. There is a few of us that didn’t play. Obviously it means a lot but Goody talks about it. He won a flag in his first two years. He is quite lucky. But after that, for the next 15 years, he only had the opportunity twice to win a flag. So to be in the position, to do it again is huge — to win a flag. We have recognized that. Now it is about making the most of it and executing under pressure in the big games and we will try and do it again. But have got to be there and put yourself on show every week. Put yourself out there. We are there and we just have got to execute.