Mark Neeld is officially the new coach of the Melbourne Football Club. The announcement came at the weekend after surprisingly little hype. Since Dean Bailey’s departure, the Demons have been head hunting a replacement for quite some time with Todd Viney filling the void for the last few games of season 2011. As talk circulated around the football fraternity, speculation mounted on Friday that Melbourne were set to announce Neeld’s appointment for the next three seasons. The news comes as a sigh of relief for the Dees faithful, who have been confronted with some late season turmoil and restless relations between the football, coaching and board members at the club. Neeld comes to Demonland after spending several seasons as Mick Malthouses’ apprentice at Collingwood, as well as his coaching experience at an amateur level – coaching Ocean Grove to four consecutive premierships and taking the Western Jets to the TAC Cup.
I wish Mark Neeld all the luck and look forward to the early rounds of season 2012. After much turbulence this season, the Demons can look forward to a bright future, new coaching structures and hopefully no ‘bruise free’ football. Can Mark Neeld finally wake the AFL’s sleeping giant?