A dream come true for all Melbourne Football Club supporters. The excitement in the Dees camp is ramping up – stealing a little limelight from the AFL finals series, and so we should. We are the greatest and oldest football club in the world! Paul Roos has officially joined the Demons ranks and will commence coaching duties immediately. For the Melbourne faithful, it is music to their ears… how ironic, supporters wanted a quick end to season 2013 but are now eager for pre-season 2014 to take off. A callout to all those fence sitting Dees supporters who didn’t take out a membership this year..now’s the time to jump on board! #GoDees
Official Statements from melbournefc.com
PAUL Roos has been confirmed as Melbourne’s new coach.
In a major coup for the Demons, who are struggling both on and off the field, Roos has signed a two-year deal that includes an option for a third season.
However, the 50-year-old insists it is a short-term appointment, revealing the club would seek a senior assistant coach as part of a succession plan.
Roos wasn’t interested in a five-year contract but warmed to the idea of joining the Demons when interim
CEO Peter Jackson suggested he could set the path for the club and then hand over to a successor.
“I’m extremely, extremely excited about being introduced as the Melbourne coach,” Roos said. “I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years … and setting a direction for the players … and for the football club, and setting some really high standards.
“[It’s] going to be a huge challenge … I know it’s going to be a very, very difficult job, but I’m very excited about being here.”
Roos was bullish about the Demons’ future, adamant the club would be successful under him or the next coach.
“I would love to hold another cup up, but it’s about setting these guys a path so that they know that for the next … five to seven years who there senior coach will be. It’ll be me and then someone else,” he said.
“That’s the thing that really appealed to me – to get in and do the hard yards, take a few knocks along the way, which is fine, work with an outstanding player group, and try and set some standards, and try and win some games of football.
“If there’s success in the two or three years, well and good. If there’s not, I guarantee there will be after that. And if someone else takes the glory, that’s fine by me.”
Roos said one of his first priorities would be to secure the services of out-of-contract players Colin Sylvia and Jack Watts, who he regarded as “quality boys”.
Jackson said Roos was the ideal person to lift the Demons back up the ladder.
“If you look at the two great clubs of the modern era, being Geelong and Sydney … we needed to get people out of those sort of cultures who knew what great football cultures are. What better man to turn it around than (the one) that turned around the Sydney footy club in the first place?” Jackson said.
“It’s fantastic for us to have him and get him to lay the foundations for football for the next decade.”
Melbourne chairman Glen Bartlett described Roos’ appointment as “the most significant news for this club for a very long time”.
Bartlett also praised Jackson for his “professionalism and persistence” in snaring Roos. The new coach acknowledged this point, describing Jackson as “a very dogged character and I’d probably play him in the back pocket to be perfectly frank”.
Roos sensationally declared his growing interest in accepting the job at Melbourne last Friday night after months of apparent indifference.
The Demons, and Jackson in particular, continued to woo Roos and momentum grew once he told the Brisbane Lions he was not interested in moving north to seek their vacant position.
Roos took the Sydney Swans to two Grand Finals for one premiership, breaking a premiership drought of 72 years (the longest in League history) in 2005.
He coached the Swans to seven finals series from eight full seasons, including six in succession from 2003-08. His strike rate over 202 games was 57.9 per cent.
Roos also created a player-driven culture that is the envy of most AFL clubs.
oos resigned from the coaching position in 2010 and handed the job over to his assistant John Longmire, who guided the Swans to a flag last year.
ONE of the game’s greatest figures – Paul Roos – has been named Melbourne’s new coach for the next two seasons, with an option to extend for a third year.
The 50-year-old will become the 30th person to coach Melbourne since it became a foundation VFL/AFL club in 1897. He has replaced Neil Craig, who was interim coach, following the mid-season departure of Mark Neeld.
Roos, who played 356 VFL/AFL matches (269 with Fitzroy and 87 with Sydney) from 1982-98, later coached the Swans from 2002-10. There, he guided the club to the 2005 flag – a thrilling four-point win and its first in 72 years – breaking the longest premiership drought in VFL/AFL history.
He coached the Swans to seven finals series from eight full seasons, including six in a row from 2003-08. (It equaled the club’s best effort from 2009-14, although it had four coaches during that period: Charlie Ricketts, Bill Thomas, Harvey Kelly and Vic Belcher.) Roos also led Sydney to the 2005-06 Grand Finals, with his team losing the ’06 clash by just the narrowest of margins.
Roos coached the Swans in 202 matches – the most in their club’s history, before stepping down from the post, where he handed over the duties to former assistant and now incumbent, John Longmire.
Melbourne’s acquisition of Roos is monumental, given he has been on the radar of several AFL clubs since stepping down at the end of 2010. He has been widely regarded as one of the finest coaches of the modern era.
His legacy at the Swans – to oversee the building of a club and produce sustained success – has remained today under Longmire, who guided Sydney to the 2012 premiership. The Swans remain one of this year’s favourites to win their third flag.
As a player Roos, remains one of the all-time greats. Only 10 players have featured in more VFL/AFL games. In his prime, he was regarded by many as the best footballer in the game.
A member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame and named in Fitzroy’s team of the century, Roos was originally recruited from Beverley Hills in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, before making his VFL/AFL debut in 1982.
He started his career as a winger, but soon blossomed into one of the finest ‘swingmen’ the game has seen, able to play in a key post at either end of the ground.
By his fourth season, in 1985, Roos ran third in the Brownlow Medal. He fell one short in 1986, when he finished with 16 votes to Hawthorn’s Robert DiPierdomenico and Sydney’s Greg Williams, who both tied for the medal with 17 votes. Many believed Roos was unlucky not to win the 1986 Brownlow, after he didn’t poll in round 22, but was regarded as Fitzroy’s best player in its win over Sydney.
Roos also played in Fitzroy’s much revered 1986 series. He incredibly played in the 1986 preliminary final with an ankle injury, when many other Lions were injured. It proved to be the club’s last ever final.
But his 1986 was still recognised by the AFLPA, when he was named MVP.
Roos captained Fitzroy from 1988-90 and again in 1992-94. A five-time Fitzroy best and fairest winner (1985-86, 1991-92 and 1994), Roos also finished third in 1987 and 1989. In 1990, he led Fitzroy’s goalkicking.
He was All-Australian seven times (1985, 1987-88, 1991-92 and 1996-97), including captain in 1991-92.
A Victorian representative 14 times, Roos won the inaugural E.J. Whitten Medal in 1985 and again in 1988. He also led the Big V in 1992-93 and represented Australia against Ireland in the International Rules series in 1986-87.
During the 1980s, Roos suffered serious calcification of his thigh and he later wore a guard to protect it.
Roos had numerous offers to join opposition clubs during his career and in 1991 he almost went to Collingwood. He opted to stay at Fitzroy and was relieved of the captaincy, before regaining it in 1992.
After a stellar career at the Lions from 1982-94, which included 270 goals, Roos joined the Swans in 1995. He and the game’s greatest goalkicker, Tony Lockett, were a massive coup for the Harbour City and not surprisingly proved outstanding acquisitions.
Roos’ running game became a key part of Sydney’s side, along with his leadership and education. He spent the majority of his time in defence and kicked 19 goals.
In 1996, Roos played in Sydney’s Grand Final against North Melbourne. Although the Swans lost by 43 points, Roos was regarded as his side’s best player. Lockett also kicked six goals.
A much respected and liked player among opposition fans, Roos was reported just once in his 17-year career – and was found not guilty of abusive language in 1989.
At the start of 1998, he was the oldest and most experienced player in the game and by the time he played his last AFL match for Sydney – in its semi-final loss to Adelaide – he was 35 years old.
After time in the media during 1999-2000, Roos became an assistant coach with Sydney in 2001, under Rodney Eade, who also coached him at the Swans in his playing days.
He took over from Eade during 2002 and did a fine job in 10 matches.
Then Western Bulldogs coach Terry Wallace looked set to coach the Swans in 2003, but ‘people power’ swayed Sydney and Roos was installed as coach. It became a master stroke for the club.
History shows Roos’ contribution to the game has been matched by only a select few and his recruitment to Melbourne looms as one of the club’s biggest moments in the club’s history.
PRESIDENT Glen Bartlett said he was “absolutely delighted”, chief executive Peter Jackson said it was “probably the most significant thing since Ron Barassi Jnr left this footy club” and the man himself – new Melbourne coach Paul Roos – said he was “extremely excited” to lead the Demons for at least the next two seasons.
Roos, Jackson and Bartlett fronted the media at the MCG at 12pm on Friday, with the coach and chief executive speaking about the appointment and the future of the club.
Here are the key points from the media conference, which lasted almost 40 minutes …
Roos on his appointment
The new Melbourne coach clarified the “running commentary” over his future from the past 12 weeks.
Initially, he had “very little interest” in coaching again. But Roos said the “professionalism and persistence” from chief executive Peter Jackson was telling.
“A couple of significant things had changed. My contract had ended at the Swans [Academy],” he said.
Roos paid tribute to the Swans and said it had been an “amazing journey for me” – having been associated with the club since 1995.
But he said he gained “a clear direction” after meeting the players. He added that it was a significant step in him becoming Melbourne coach.
“This had to work for the Melbourne Football Club. This is about the Melbourne Football Club,” he said.
“I’m extremely excited. I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years. I can’t wait to get started … in what is going to be a huge challenge.”
Roos said his son Tyler said “you’ve got to coach this club”.
Roos on identifying the next coach after his career
Roos has signed for 2014-15, with the option to coach in 2016.
But he signaled his intention to hand over the coaching baton beyond that period.
And he added that he will be part of identifying Melbourne’s next coach, post his tenure.
Jackson said Melbourne wouldn’t have got Roos, if it had wanted him for five years.
“Paul didn’t want to commit to five years … we were never going to get him [for that long],” he said.
“What we want to do is build the leadership and culture [of this club] … and there is no better man than [Roos].
“It’s fantastic for us to lay the foundations.”
Roos said he was all about setting the direction of the club, not necessarily holding the cup up under his tenure.
“I’m really excited in a short term. I’m very excited about setting a path and then handing it over,” he said.
“If it’s someone else who takes the glory – that’s fine.”
Roos on the Melbourne list
Roos said was there was some genuine talent on the list, but Melbourne’s percentage was his major concern this year.
“They’re a two team win with 56 per cent. The percentage for me is relevant. That’s an unacceptable percentage,” he said.
Roos confirmed that he “really wants” Colin Sylvia and Jack Watts to remain at the club.
He also issued a strong statement towards the Melbourne players.
“My commitment to these boys is to make them the best possible player they can be,” Roos said.
Roos and Jackson on future recruiting/priority pick
Roos’ sense of humour came to the fore, when he said “that’d be great, if you’ve got one”, when asked if Melbourne should have a priority pick.
But he was serious when he added that Melbourne needed to get midfield depth and he was not against trading pick two.
“Philosophically, I’d be happy to trade pick two. I wouldn’t be against it,” he said.
Jackson said there was a “very powerful argument” for Melbourne to receive one.
“Fixing this footy club will help the whole industry,” he said.
Jackson conceded that “the elephant in the room” in relation to Melbourne’ tanking investigation earlier in the year clouded the priority pick issue.
Roos on Melbourne’s captaincy
Roos said he was open-minded about Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove remaining in the co-captaincy role. But he was also adamant that they needed to be the best players possible.
“I need to make them the best players they can be,” he said.
“They’ll be part of that process.”
Roos on Melbourne’s future success/game style
Roos said there was “no magic formula” for success.
“It’s not just about me. We need everyone working hard at the football club,” he said.
“Moving forward, we’re going to be doing the best possible thing for the club.
“It might take a little while to get there … but I’m 100 per cent committed for the next two years.”
But Roos said Melbourne needed to alter its style of play.
“We’re going to have a significant change in game style,” he said.
“I think we’ve got a good group … and we need to put in a game style that will be successful.
“AFL’s a tough game, if you want to be successful.”
Roos acknowledged that turning the club’s fortunes around would be a big challenge.
“[My job is] as is much as a leadership challenge, as it is a coaching challenge,” he said.
“This [might be my] last hurrah and then I’ll ride off into the sunset … [coaching is] not an easy job.
“It’s more of a leadership role now.”
Jackson on landing Roos
Jackson said he was rapt to have landed a president (Bartlett), coach (Roos), a chief commercial officer (George De Crespigny) and the “last domino” was now a general manager of football operations.
“This club has slowly declined over the last five or six years … the excitement [of securing Roos] is beyond belief,” he said.
“He’ll bring a hell of a lot to this football club.”
But Jackson said Roos hadn’t guaranteed instant success.
“I think it’ll have a significant impact,” he said.
“Paul’s not guaranteeing great, immediate success.
“I think people will believe now. I reckon they’ll come back.”
Jackson on Neil Craig’s future
“There were no promises. We’ve been very open,” he said.
“We acknowledged him at the best and fairest and he didn’t have to [coach Melbourne], with the chance his reputation and feelings could get hurt.
“When he said he’d do it, he said he’d do it ‘balls and all’. He’s won enormous respect from these players. He’s been fantastic for this football club.”