18/04/2024

Demons midfielder Angus Brayshaw says that the side are firmly focused on their upcoming prelim final (Photo: AFL)

Melbourne Demons midfielder Angus Brayshaw has knocked back the notion the Demons already have 'one hand on the cup'

Melbourne Demons midfielder Angus Brayshaw believes the team isn’t looking too far ahead after their qualifying final win over the Brisbane Lions on Saturday.

Brayshaw isn’t comfortable with the notion his side already has one on the cup and acknowledges there’s still work to be done if they are to book their place in the upcoming Grand Final.

“One hand on the cup – it doesn’t sit great with me, all year Goody [Goodwin] said ‘It is hard to win games of AFL football no matter who you play, you have to really respect the opponent and there’s no easy games,’ and if we’re being honest, it goes to a whole new level when finals come around,” Brayshaw told media on Tuesday.

“So people who think a team that is already – not even necessarily us, is a shoo-in to win the flag they’re probably underselling how hard it is to win games of football.

“It’s something our group certainly hasn’t lost sight of, the game against Brisbane was a really hard-fought game and I’m certain whoever we play next is going to be of the same ilk, it’s going to be hard no matter who we play.”

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Brayshaw would also comment on teammate and Dees veteran Nathan Jones who has yet to make a return to the side after recovering from a calf injury.

Brayshaw said that Jones is doing all he can to get back into the side and has been of great support despite not being in the team.

“He obviously wants to play and he’s working his ring off to make sure he’s given himself the best chance [to return], he really wants to be part of this group,” he said.

“There’s no negativity there’s no selfishness, it’s all what is best for the team so I’m super proud of him.”

With coach Simon Goodwin yet to rule out a return for the former Demons skipper, Brayshaw says it wouldn’t be a token gesture if Jones gets back into the side.

“I honestly can say I’ve never seen anyone devote themselves more totally to play great AFL football than Nathan Jones has done this year,” he said.

“Between his health, his diet, his preparation, and strength and conditioning and his craft as a footballer has been unmatched.

“And if he gets a game sub or not he would have 100 percent earned it, there’s no sympathy medal, and let’s be very clear we still have to get through a prelim as well.”

Nathan Jones hasn’t played AFL since a calf injury in round 15. Photo: AFL

Brayshaw also noted the impact of having played in front of no fans, saying he’s missed having the faithful behind him, believing the supporter base is a major motivator for him playing.

“It’s hard to put into words just how acutely we’re all missing our supporters,” he said.

“The contingent of Western Australian Melbourne supporters is very strong and we’re very excited to have them come to games, but the bulk of our supporters are back home in Melbourne and we’re missing them dearly.

“Footy is just not the same, people will have said this for the last couple of years, but the longer footy goes on without fans the more we’re acutely aware it’s not the same without them.

“We are only really playing for the supporters and bringing them pride and happiness.”

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