The clash Demons skipper ‘can’t get his mind off’

Melbourne captain Max Gawn has opened up on his pleasure for the ruck battle towards his “shut mate” Stefan Martin forward of tomorrow’s AFL grand last.

Whereas the match-up has been headlined by the battle of the 2 groups’ all-star midfields which characteristic 4 All-Australians, Gawn says his conflict with Martin, a former teammate, will likely be “a battle inside a battle”.

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The match-up between the 2 large males pits Martin towards his previous understudy, with the pair sharing a locker room collectively throughout the first two years of Gawn’s profession.

Martin was ultimately traded to the Brisbane Lions the place he grew to become one of many AFL’s most potent large males, whereas Gawn has since blossomed into the league’s pre-eminent ruckman.

“Stef’s virtually been one in all my most-played rucks over the journey,” Gawn mentioned of his match-up towards Martin.

“We rucked collectively towards one another for 2 or three years when he was on the Dees.

“I would nonetheless name him a detailed mate so I am actually excited for that first centre bounce. I can not get my thoughts off that first centre bounce simply because he is an fascinating character and he is an actual shut good friend.

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“We have been texting this week and he is such a novel ruck. He performs undersized however he is so robust, so it should be a battle. Clearly Tim [English] coming in there as effectively at instances and I’ve bought Luke [Jackson], so it’s going to be a battle inside a battle.

“I am unsure if everybody’s wanting on the ruck battle because the centrepiece of that sport, however I definitely assume it is a real battle inside a battle.”

A lot has been product of how the Bulldogs will counter Gawn, who was pivotal with 5 targets in Melbourne’s preliminary last win over Geelong.

Some specialists have recommended the Bulldogs ought to assault the Demons star with off-ball hits as Port Adelaide did in a contest again in 2019, however Gawn recommended he’s prepared for any tough stuff despatched his approach.

“You have all the time bought to arrange what different groups throw at you,” he mentioned.

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“However whether or not they undergo Christian [Petracca], Clayton [Oliver], or whether or not they do not do something in any respect, there’s all types of video games that is perhaps performed come Saturday.

“I am not too fussed. If I’ve no affect on the sport and we win, I am nonetheless a reasonably completely happy man.”

Requested how he’d ready for the most important match of his 158-game profession, Gawn admitted that he had sought recommendation from ex-players, together with former teammate Jordan Lewis.

“It has been a novel 4 weeks with solely that one sport in there, so there’s plenty of down time to speak to folks,” he mentioned.

“Jordan Lewis is somebody that I’ve reached out to who’s performed in 4 flags himself and I’ve bought a few different mates which have performed in grand finals.

“You attain out to as a lot as finals expertise as you may, however in the long run I will do it my approach.

“I am not going to do it the best way these folks have instructed me to do it, I am going to do that week the best way I wish to do that week.

“I will let my teammates do the week that they wish to do that week and hopefully that recipe, together with what [Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin] has instructed us, is what is going on to get us to carry the cup up on Saturday.”

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