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Clayton Oliver staying put at Melbourne as Max Gawn and wife detail comes to light

The Demons captain and his family have opened their door amid a troubled time for his teammate.

Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver
Clayton Oliver has reportedly moved in to live with Max Gawn and his family. Image: Getty

Max Gawn and wife Jessica have reportedly opened their door to Clayton Oliver amid the dramas engulfing the Melbourne Demons player. The Demons were thought to be considering trading the 26-year-old after a tumultuous season marred by injuries and attitude issues, although the club announced on Friday that he'll be staying put.

Oliver met with club officials this week and was reportedly told to "shape up or ship off". The Demons are keen to keep their gun midfielder, but want to see some changes in his behaviour.

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Sam Edmund of SEN reported this week: "They 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."

Oliver had a troubled season and missed three months with a hamstring injury. He had a public argument with the club's strength and conditioning boss Selwyn Griffith, and reportedly told friends the Demons should have handled his injury better.

Tom Morris of SEN reported early in the week: "In recent times senior teammates have become increasingly more frustrated and concerned in equal measure with his welfare, to the point where Oliver moving away from his Camberwell house and in with captain Max Gawn has been seriously canvassed as a temporary option." That has now come to fruition, with Oliver moving in to live with Gawn and wife Jessica, even though she is pregnant with their second child.

"In recent days, Oliver has shown a willingness to return to the fold," said Edmund. "He has put his hand up to say that his living arrangements and social lifestyle hasn’t been befitting of an AFL player. Max Gawn has also opened the door of his home to Oliver, who has recently moved in with the captain and his family."

Max Gawn, pictured here with with son George and wife Jessica.
Max Gawn with son George and wife Jessica. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Clayton Oliver staying put at Melbourne Demons

The Demons released a statement on Friday saying Oliver would remain at the club in 2024. “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 club has been aware of and supporting Clayton with his personal circumstances for some time and is committed to continuing to do so. While club leaders focus on the care and support Clayton needs, we also have a responsibility to uphold our strong club culture for the benefit of all our players and staff.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone within the club is committed to meeting the expected behavioural standards of a player within an AFL high performance environment. Clayton understands what is expected of him as a professional athlete, as well as the standards and behaviours a Melbourne person is expected to uphold."

Clayton Oliver, pictured here in action for Melbourne against Collingwood.
Clayton Oliver in action for Melbourne against Collingwood. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Oliver's behaviour since the Demons' season ended is said to have raised eyebrows. He was absent from a number of end-of-season functions, and concerns are growing about his welfare.

AFL commentator Dwayne Russell said there was a “disconnect” between Oliver and Melbourne when he spoke to the 26-year-old before the grand final. “I was actually with Clayton Oliver (on) grand final morning for an hour and had a good chat with him,” Russell said on SEN.

“Much of what he told me was obviously private ... (but) there is a disconnect there at the moment. Melbourne either needs to give Clayton Oliver a massive hug, or they need to trade him, one of the two. I just think he needs a giant hug, that’s the way I see it, that’s my reading of it.”

Melbourne great Garry Lyon said he was "horrified" by reports Oliver could leave the club despite having seven years remaining on his contract. "There are a couple of issues that have got to be resolved," he said. "I don't think they are insurmountable...I am hoping they can work their way through it.

“I’m horrified at the prospect (of Oliver leaving). He’s one of my all-time favourites. I’m horrified at the prospect at the thought that this (could happen).”

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