Melbourne captain Max Gawn has taken troubled teammate Clayton Oliver into his home as the Demon's culture continues to come into question. Oliver's professionalism has repeatedly come under the microscope this season with doubts placed over the midfielder's future.
In his short stint at the club, the 26-year-old has been the subject of multiple concerning reports around his behaviour and he even had a short stint in hospital this month following a seizure. The Demons captain says Oliver has been staying at his house and that they talk every day.
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"I'm in pretty good dialogue with him and we talk every day and he's been (staying) at my house for a while, so I think Clayton is going really well," Gawn told the Seven Network. "I understand the noise that is coming about Clayton could really bring someone down, but I feel like the support that he's got around him will help him get through it."
The Demons culture questions have continued to simmer as Joel Smith was provisionally suspended as the result of a positive drug test, with the 27-year-old now facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
"There has been some stuff over the last few weeks but I feel like this happens at most clubs," Gawn said. "There's adversity here, adversity there. Obviously, our adversity has all come at once."
At the best and fairest event earlier this month, Melbourne's coach Simon Goodwin put a strong focus on the team's professional standards, a sentiment echoed by Gawn. "I'm certainly very bullish on the culture we've built over the last three or four years, that it can withstand adversity like this, and we're able to get in the top four again like we have in the last three years," Gawn said.
Clayton Oliver to remain at the Melbourne Demons
Melbourne has confirmed Oliver will remain at the club despite rumours he would be moved on.“I would like to address recent media speculation that the Melbourne Football Club is exploring a trade for Clayton Oliver,” Demons CEO Gary Pert said in the statement.
“Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that we understand the frustration among members and supporters when our players are discussed in the media as potential trade targets. At no stage has the club entered discussions with any club regarding a trade for Clayton. Furthermore, Clayton has not requested a trade and will remain at the Melbourne Football Club."
The statement was delivered after Sam Edmund's bombshell SEN report that the club: "Have made a series of demands to Oliver that include the need to treat club staff with respect, teammates with respect, prepare the way he should and to turn up to training in the proper condition."
"It can be revealed that Melbourne's reluctance to squash the frenzied trade talk surrounding the 26-year-old is exclusively due to its exasperation with Oliver’s increasingly erratic behaviour."
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